BAYOU CORNE,LA (NBC33) — Texas Brine officials agreed Tuesday to move forward with a plan to build a new southern containment structure to better protect the waterways surrounding the southern side of the sinkhole. The announcement came after Assumption Parish Emergency officials said a piece of the southern protective levee that surrounds the sinkhole is sinking.
John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, said scientists are continuing to pick up increased levels of subsurface activity near the sinkhole. Last week tremors caused surface cracks spotted on the south side of the protective levee. Since then, Boudreaux said a piece of the same side of the levee subsided. Boudreaux said emergency officials are watching the area closely. He said if the area continues to subside much water from inside the sinkhole could get into the surrounding waterway.
Tuesday, Department of Natural Resources officials and Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness officials gave Texas Brine the go ahead for temporary repair work on a section of the current southern levee, which had subsided.
Texas Brine crews will clay to the top of the berm where it subsided to build it back up and protect against overtopping. Officials said so far the levee has not been overtopped, and ”the south berm and containment are still intact”. Texas Brine officials said the work could start as soon as Wednesday. They will also add extra monitors to that area to warn “of any movement due to subsidence in this area.”
State and Local Officials say adding the clay is only a interim step to maintain containment until Texas Brine can build a new southern containment structure to protect the waterways surrounding the sinkhole.
Texas Brine officials have agreed Tuesday to move forward with plans to build a new southern containment system. The system would be built further south than the current southern berm. Texas Brine officials say they still have engineering design to do and have to get permits and final approval from state and local agencies before they can begin construction on that structure.