Legislators hear from those affected by giant La. sinkhole - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents near sinkhole say hearing was a lot of talk and a lot less action

Giant Louisiana sinkhole in Bayou Corne (Source: Assumption Parish Police Jury) Giant Louisiana sinkhole in Bayou Corne (Source: Assumption Parish Police Jury)
Residents testifying at hearing Residents testifying at hearing
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Three legislative committees gathered at the State Capitol to hear from affected parties regarding the giant Louisiana sinkhole in Assumption Parish Tuesday.

Representative Karen St. Germain, whose district includes the sinkhole, read four letters into the record from residents who have been displaced since August of last year.

Assumption Parish officials, followed by Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, along with CB&I and Texas-Brine will testified Monday morning.

Senator Gerald Long, who chairs Natural Resources, says his committee will initiate an investigation into the matter.

The main sinkhole has reached more than 800 feet in diameter and the western wall continues to collapse.

Last week, officials reported about 5,000 square feet fell in on the southwest side of the sinkhole, officials call this sloughing.

According to Texas-Brine, sloughing is considered a normal part of the stabilization process; the sinkhole surface area will get bigger but the depth will become shallower. In August 2012, the depth of the sinkhole was 490 feet. In January 2013, the depth was just over 200 feet.

Bruce Mathews, Vice President of Operation for Texas-Brine testified that the company will not start buying homes in the affected area because it's just not the right time. "I know there are residents of Bayou Corne that want to be bought out," says Mathews. "But I know there is a group that does not want to be bought out because there's one's who want to stay and because it's the right thing to do. We have to focus on response activities."

The words from Mathews were not what some residents wanted to hear.

Texas-Brine officials say they have spent $3.5 million on residents of Bayou Corne so far. That is about $23,000 per family. "My house sits there uninhabited for over four months, closed up with no air circulating," said resident Jamie Wilber. "My interior has mold, cracks in the roof and sheet rock. My home is destroyed and my children have no intention of going back.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon testified that residents who haven't had their home owners' policies for at least 3 years could be in danger. "For anybody less than 3 years, like any other homeowner in America, they can be non-renewed," said Donelon.

The committee's have decided to reconvene Monday March, 18 to review the progress. That's a few weeks before the session starts in April to consider legislation relevant to the sinkhole.

As has been reported numerous times previously, natural gas bubbling continues at isolated sites near the center and around the perimeter of the sinkhole.

Meanwhile, Texas-Brine continues work on a containment berm to surround the sinkhole.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • Residents near sinkhole say hearing was a lot of talk and a lot less actionMore>>

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Lake Charles Police Department make arrests in 8 homicides in 2017

    Lake Charles Police Department make arrests in 8 homicides in 2017

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 6:19 AM EDT2017-07-26 10:19:44 GMT
    Lake Charles Police are on the scene of a homicide on North Simmons Street in Lake Charles. (Source: KPLC)Lake Charles Police are on the scene of a homicide on North Simmons Street in Lake Charles. (Source: KPLC)

    Nationally, according to the FBI, only 64% of homicide cases are solved but the Lake Charles Police Department has had only two cold cases since 2001.

    More >>

    Nationally, according to the FBI, only 64% of homicide cases are solved but the Lake Charles Police Department has had only two cold cases since 2001.

    More >>
  • District Attorney: Community needs to come together to address teen violence

    District Attorney: Community needs to come together to address teen violence

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 12:33 AM EDT2017-07-26 04:33:26 GMT
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)

    There is a shocking trend in the Lake area—deadly violence with teens among those arrested. In fact we've seen two cases in just over a week.First on July 17TH, gunfire on North Simmons Street in Lake Charles left  31 year old Gary Obrien dead.       Four people face charges in connection with the case, including 16 year old Justin Ned. He's booked on charges of principle to first degree murder and armed robbery. And this past Saturday, 24-ye...

    More >>

    There is a shocking trend in the Lake area—deadly violence with teens among those arrested. In fact we've seen two cases in just over a week.First on July 17TH, gunfire on North Simmons Street in Lake Charles left  31 year old Gary Obrien dead.       Four people face charges in connection with the case, including 16 year old Justin Ned. He's booked on charges of principle to first degree murder and armed robbery. And this past Saturday, 24-ye...

    More >>
  • Oakdale Police Department dealing with constant phone problems

    Oakdale Police Department dealing with constant phone problems

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 11:25 PM EDT2017-07-26 03:25:49 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    For the Oakdale Police Department one of their constant battles isn't necessarily with criminals, but instead with their phones. Their phone lines were down for most of the weekend, and just got back up yesterday, but this isn't the first time they've dealt with this.  The phones are ringing at the Oakdale Police Department now, but this past weekend that wasn’t the case.  “Friday evening our phones went down,” said police chief, Joseph Lockett. ...More >>
    For the Oakdale Police Department one of their constant battles isn't necessarily with criminals, but instead with their phones. Their phone lines were down for most of the weekend, and just got back up yesterday, but this isn't the first time they've dealt with this.  The phones are ringing at the Oakdale Police Department now, but this past weekend that wasn’t the case.  “Friday evening our phones went down,” said police chief, Joseph Lockett. ...More >>
Powered by Frankly