Group wants sinkhole declared federal disaster - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Group wants sinkhole declared federal disaster

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

Tempers are boiling over in Assumption Parish five months after that sinkhole forced nearly 300 people out of their homes. Some people are desperate and want the federal government to intervene.

What exactly caused the sinkhole? How much longer will we have to be out of our homes? Questions Bayou Corne residents have been asking for five months now.

"I believe that the petition that we started , it really needs to get those signatures because I think that it's just beyond the resources the state government has at their disposal at this point," said Alicia Heilig, a resident.

The petition asks that the sinkhole and the land around it be declared a federal disaster area and that the feds come in to investigate.

"Five months into this sinkhole, and we're not any closer to any resolution than we were day one," said John Achee, whose family has owned a camp on the bayou for more than 30 years."I wish it was like you see on TV when you have the local cops, and the FBI comes in and tells everybody get out the way. That's what I'd like to see, federal government come in here...get all of these yo-yos out of the way and investigate this thing right."

But the state Department of Natural Resources say the feds are involved and have been since the sinkhole appeared.

"We've engaged the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, Sandia International Labs," said Interim DNR Secretary Stephen Chustz. "We welcome their input, and they continue to be involved in the process through our science team."

Chustz says each day this team of scientists is collecting new data but says things could be easier with more cooperation from Texas Brine.

"They failed to meet many of the deadlines that have been set and the commissioner's directives. And we believe that if they are unable to meet those deadlines, then they need to seriously consider buying these folks out who want to leave the Bayou Corne area because they fear for their safety," said Chustz.

So far, the petition has over 365 signatures, but needs a total of 25,000 before Feb. 4.

The petition was drawn up a day after Texas Brine, the owner of the failed salt dome believed to be the cause of the sinkhole, filed an injunction against the state of Louisiana. Click here for more

The company claims exploratory wells ordered by the Office of Conservation commissioner could cause more problems in the area.

Meanwhile, more rumbling was detected around the Bayou Corne site over the weekend.

However, experts said there is no need to worry. The tremors were connected with a 7.5 magnitude quake that struck off the coast of Alaska.

Experts said the quake was too far away to have any effect on the sinkhole.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • Group wants sinkhole declared federal disasterMore>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Hebert Family speaks out about deadly explosion at Omega Protein

    Hebert Family speaks out about deadly explosion at Omega Protein

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:55 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:55:14 GMT
    Christopher Hebert was killed in an accident at Omega Protein's Moss Point plant in 2012. Hebert's loved ones said they are heartbroken to hear of another life lost.More >>
    In 2012, Christopher Hebert was killed when he was caught in a rotating screw conveyor at Omega Protein's Moss Point plant. Hebert's loved ones said they are heartbroken to hear another family is having to deal with losing a loved one because of something that happened at the plant.
    More >>
  • Woman, 2 children killed in Leake County ATV accident

    Toddler involved in fatal Leake County ATV accident expected to recover

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:08:07 GMT
    Two-year-old Alicia Hernandez is currently at Blair E. Batson hospital in Jackson recovering from an ATV accident that killed her mother, brother and a cousin. "My Aunt Lucy Hernandez, her second oldestMore >>
    Sarah Eichelberger, of Baton Rouge, was driving her 2009 Acura car when she collided with Lucy Hernandez's Honda ATV.
    More >>
  • Suspect's death takes a toll on authorities

    Suspect's death takes a toll on authorities

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:53:12 GMT
    The D'Iberville man who was pulled from the Tchoutacabouffa River this weekend drowned, according to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove. Monday, an autopsy was completed on James King. Authorities sayMore >>
    The D'Iberville man who was pulled from the Tchoutacabouffa River this weekend drowned, according to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove. Monday, an autopsy was completed on James King. Authorities say the 21-year-old jumped into the river Saturday while running away from police. It's the kind of tragedy first responders admit always takes a toll on them.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.