Louisiana Sinkhole: As LEL Gas is Detected, Damages Rise

In a rare depature, this article is not going to focus purely on technical issues, athough a few will slip in. To date, Texas Brine claims no damages have occurred, and no injuries. I am writing today, to show this is not true, and to get the story straight from two of the homeowners in Bayou Corne.

Before we do though, allow me to remind you, dear reader, of Gary Hecox’s warning that the Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer now contains 50 million cubic feet of Methane gas, with an unknown amount still pouring into the aquifer.

This is a picture of the MRAA, which lies over the Napoleonville Salt Dome, Grand Bayou/Bayou Corne area all the way through half of Pierre Part, where it then meets the Chicot Aquifer. This is what is being filled and suspected of ‘uplifting’ the properties in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou.

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A Tale of Two Homeowner’s in Bayou Corne, Louisiana

Gary Metrejean of Bayou Corne, returned to check on his property he has lived on, and in for 13 years, (prior to the sinkhole forming), last Thursday, (April 04, 2013) to find this shocking scene in his living room.

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According to Mr. Metrejean, “I come to check on my home and I see this! I was here when the tremors hit about three weeks ago, and I was here months ago when the tremors made this whole house shift, and it caused the roof to leak, so finally the water got my ceiling.” When asked whether he had reported the cracks to Texas Brine, he stated, “At every meeting.” To date, none from Texas Brine or their contractors have ever visited Mr. Metrejean’s home to assess the damages.

“It’s been hell living in a camper for eight months, while also watching my home of so long…just shook to the ground, it’s heartbreaking.” Mr. Metrejean stated, obviously very upset, as any homeowner would be.

Over on Sauce Picante Street, three homeowners allowed Texas Brine Contractors, Tetra Tech, to drill into the slab their homes sit upon and all three were found to have 100% of LEL, (Lower Explosive Level), gas concentrations.

One such home owner is Jennifer Gregoire, whose husband has lived in Bayou Corne for twelve years, with the last six years spent growing a new family, and who became another victim of the  ‘Great Louisiana Sinkhole’,  when they left their home due to a Mandatory Evacuation being put in place. Having two children, one six and the other five years old, the Gregoire’s chose to heed the evacuation orders.

“When I moved down to this beautiful state, I fell in love with Bayou Corne/ Grand Bayou! The neighborhood was amazing and so quiet.” said Mrs. Gregoire, “On August 03, 2012, our sense of sanity, safety, and stability were stolen away. We were displaced to hotels, which are miles away from the school in Pierre Part, and forced to stay with family, and with friend’s for a few months until we bought a camper. I thought at one point I was going to lose my mind!”

The situation got even worse when she allowed the Tetra Tech technicians to test for gas under their home on April 3rd, 2013. Below is the Facebook posting, (reprinted with Mrs. Gregoire’s permission);

” they read the level of LEL is 100% in the house by my kids room door, and the oxg is 33.3% I’m just guessing I really couldn’t hear. And in the shop was the same for LEL. They asked me too stay here while they went to go get a few other stuff and they would be back in a little bit. Asked also to open the windows in the house and put the Monitors by the hole in the house.”

Jen Greg 

 (Picture of the Drilled Hole just outside the children’s room)

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(Detectors in Living Room above and in the Children’s room below)

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Many concerned resident’s voiced their shock that LEL gases were detected and that Tetra Tech then asked Mrs. Gregoire to stay in the home while they went to get other equipment. In most eyes, this was very irresponsible and unprofessional conduct. Many begged her to leave the premises at the time, speaking on Facebook. Mrs Gregoire is still shaken by the incident a week later.

“There isn’t even a word to come up with how I felt that day when I got the news. I have all these people running in and out of my home asking me to open windows and doors to vent the house. WOW scary!!!! That this is getting worse and out of hand is an understatement. It will never be safe enough to ever take my children back there. The school has even seen the stress it has put on my children, and they are too young to even think about this. They are kids, and they should be more worried about what they are going to play outside, instead of where we are going to live now. After 8 months my children have said they miss their own beds, and that the pull out sofa is uncomfortable. I’m sad to say our home, and where I brought my babies into the world, can never be lived in again, its just too dangerous!”

Texas Brine LLC has to date, still not assumed full responsibility for the desperate situation the good people of Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou have been forced into, and the owners of the failed salt cavern, Occidental Chemical Corporation remain silent.

With their future up in the air, literally, and one seemingly filled with more flared methane gas than actual oxygen; Texas Brine touts the fact that no injuries have resulted from the ‘Great Louisiana Sinkhole’, but please keep in mind that not all injuries are physical, or even seen. Many are kept hidden, and not only by a proud people who consider themselves fiercely independent, but by the very Corporations that caused the injuries and damages in the first place.

The above stories are only two in a growing number of horror stories emerging from the area, and as this disaster drags on and on, will surely not be the last.

Governor Bobby Jindal promised the homeowner’s that buy-outs would only take weeks, and not months, on March 19th, upon his first visit to the area, yet only eight residents have been contacted regarding the buy-out process thus far.

No officials were contacted in the writing of this article….frankly, because no one trusts a word they say anymore at this point.

No Large Corporations were harmed in the making of this article.

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