Sinkhole burps & swallows 6 more trees - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Sinkhole burps & swallows 6 more trees

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Source: Assumption Parish OEP Source: Assumption Parish OEP
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BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) -

Officials said the giant sinkhole in south Louisiana swallowed more trees Wednesday afternoon.

The Assumption Parish Police Jury said there was a burp and slough-in around 3:25 p.m. Officials said debris and six trees were gobbled up during the latest activity.

They added there is a slight gas-like smell in the Bayou Corne area.

History of the Sinkhole

The sinkhole opened up in August 2012 and was roughly 1/24 of the size it is now. The sinkhole formed when an underground salt cavern collapsed.

In the past, seismic activity is reported, then the sinkhole burps up debris and then a slough-in happens. Burps occur when air and gas from deep in the sinkhole bubbles up. It can cause debris and an oily substance to float to the top. A slough-in is when the sinkhole swallows trees and land that is on the edge of the sinkhole.

Berms were placed around the sinkhole shortly after it opened up to keep the oily, debris filled water contained to the sinkhole area so it would not contaminate the area bayous.

It has more than a year since hundreds living near the giant sinkhole were forced from their homes.

Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months later, the ground opened up and left what is now a 29-acre sinkhole. Residents were evacuated and the most affected residents began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week. Texas Brine owns the salt cavern that collapsed, causing the sinkhole.

On August 2, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the state will be suing Texas Brine for environmental damages caused by the failed Texas Brine cavern.

Parish and Texas Brine officials agree the situation is far from over. 3D seismic surveys show the sinkhole itself it beginning to slow and stabilize, but the recovery is focused on another danger; natural gas gathering underneath a nearby aquifer.

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