Sunday, May 5, 2013

The truth about sinkholes and Bayou Corne disaster, CBS News reports (Video)

Sinkholes fascinate and terrify me. They have for years, long before I heard about the story of the man whose bedroom was sucked into one in Florida in February. So, when I see a story about sinkholes on the news or online, I have to watch or read, and lately, if the report is about sinkholes in general, like the video posted above, I wait to see whether the reporter covers the mess we've got here in Louisiana right now at Bayou Corne in Assumption Parish.

While sinkholes generally are a natural phenomenon, the Bayou Corne sinkhole was caused by human error related to the extraction of brine by Texas Brine from the Napoleon Salt Dome's caverns. The company has agreed to pay settlements to residents who've lost or will lose their homes. It's possible, according to a Texas Brine engineer, the sinkhole may keep expanding for another year.

The Bayou Corne disaster also reminds me of another Louisiana incident related to salt domes, the Lake Peigneur drilling catastrophe of 1980. The Lake Peigneur disaster was the result of a Texaco oil drilling miscalculation near a salt dome. The video below explains what happened there.

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