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.


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.

Gary 1


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)


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

Jen GregIII

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.

18 thoughts on “Louisiana Sinkhole: As LEL Gas is Detected, Damages Rise

  1. I ask the readers to consider this scenario: You get home from work one day & realize that the value of the home you’ve worked the last 28 years to build, improve, & maintain is worth NOTHING! You can’t even give it away. The reason: someone wanted to turn a massive profit on what’s under YOUR home as cheap as possible. They destroy the foundation, release millions of cubic feet of flammable gas along with an undisclosed amount of crude oil underground AND in the water aquifer, then orchestrate a campaign of lies/disinformation to hide the facts from who they seem to consider an expendable population. Now the bonus: Live in a camper for the next 8 months with no end in site! You can live in your home but if you’re gassed or burned to death, it’s YOUR OWN FAULT for living in your own home!! Now give these guys permission to drill holes in your already cracked slab & put gas monitors in your home. Don’t forget to pay your house note AND all your utility bills because they need your electricity to power their monitors in YOUR house. There’s flares surrounding the neighborhood burning 24/7. Then, when the monitors go ballistic, it’s a false reading or swamp gas! I can’t see why would anyone get the flaming red ass!!!! Can you?! If, by some remote chance this is resolved, ALL Louisianans need to remember this circus in the coming elections. Yes, they played a huge part in this “experiment” too!

  2. Hi! My name is Brian Marshall. I live in Arkansas. While I’m sure not an earthquake/sinkhole expert, and I don’t know much about Methane or Butane Gas, I thought I ought to give you folks a warning! An observation which has me scared witless for you all down there!

    I’m a home builder. I know a bit about foundations. My experience with older home remodels where there are roof leaks, many times mean the foundation of the home has sank. ( not always the case, but often is)

    When a house roof moves apart, it’s because the foundation has moved. The foundation hasn’t just been shaken! No! The foundation has moved! if your roof is leaking this means one side of your house is sinking… One side of the house most likely is sinking faster than the other side. Causing your decking on your roof to pull apart, allowing shingles or metal roofing joints to leak.

    If you think about it, the ground nearest the sink hole should be sinking faster than the ground farthest away from the sink hole. A way to perhaps tell what your house is doing, is to see if the side of the home leaking, is the same side closest to the sink hole. As logic would dictate the foundation closest to the sinkhole would sink first. However this does not mean your home will react this way. You have to factor in what the ground directly underneath your foundation is doing. Either way, leaks mean your home is sinking somehow.

    Further more, you’re houses are suffering continuing damage.

    Other signs your house is sinking! Look at doorways, look at the joints or your door trim. Interior or exterior doors… Check the door jams and the trim. Look to see if the joints on the door trim are separating apart more than normal, particularly on one side more than the other. Check your door jams by opening and closing the door. If doors that did not used to stick, especially in the houses interior, are found to be sticking in the jams now, it’s is a good bet your house is sinking. Not just being shaken, but sinking downward…

    If this is the case, my personal actions would be to pack up and leave and don’t come back. I would get the hell out of dodge!

    My fear based upon your verbal description of what you say your houses appear to be doing, is that Bayou Corn is going to pull an Atlantis, and be totally swallowed up! Your housing problem symptoms are highly suggestive of this reality. I don’t want to hear of people getting swallowed up along with the houses.

    I love my home, I have roots also, but I also know I have my family to protect and live for. They need me, I need them. Homes and land are replaceable. Not people.

    People, fathers (I lost my dad in a plane crash when I was 12) mothers, children and family are irreplaceable.

    I know it’s a rotten situation for you all. But somebody is going to die if they keep returning to get pictures and fight Texas Brine. I could be wrong, but that’s my feel of the situation.

    I repeat! House roofs don’t leak unless the house is pulling apart! This begins at the foundation!
    This is not just shaking! This is the earth moving over and downward enough to cause the frame of the house to begin to pull apart.

    God Bless and good luck to you. I wish you all the best and may God protect you all!

    • Mr. Marshall.
      I thank you so much for your comment, and your obvious concern, and I agree in part with your assessment.
      However, would not the swelling of methane gas in the aquifer of the home cause the same effects, but in reverse? Could an ‘uplift’ of the land due to the steady 56 psi pressure ‘seperate’ the roof joists just as well?
      Also, what would happen if the pressure actually was relieved and all these cracks begin to sink back down and meet? Would it not cause ‘blowouts’ of the wood and concrete?
      Either way, you make an excellent point, and a very sound assessment. Thank you for your heartfelt comment!

  3. Very sad to see this happen to our families! Yes, Mr. Simoneaux, our officials are responsible for all of this mess…above and beyond the fault of Texas Brine! It was their duty to know the risks associated with salt cavern storage and their duty to instate proper regulations before allowing the activity to ever begin!!! They are responsible for all of the poison in our water and soil, and for the cancers in our family members. They take our money, they take the industry’s monies and grow fat, while we die. It is heartbreaking that our own do this to us every day. Thank you, Freedomrox, for speaking up for us.

  4. Reblogged this on euzicasa and commented:
    LEL for MEthane Gas, is between 5-15% in atmosphere (in volumes) which occurs in enclosed spaaces, and under large areas of the ground covered with impervious structures like sub floors, concreted, continuous asphalted/concreted area with no exhaust for dissipation of the Methane
    gas. Problem is that most of the time, other very toxic gases are too part of the emanation, and can be very toxic, especially for children, when not collected and exhausted, away from people. Such gases are sulphur Dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. In the absence of such gases, and depending of the purity of the underground gas pocket mathane lacks any sensorial identification (taste, smell, color), so it is not detected by humans> It is why mercaptan ( very low detection conc. gas, to which humans’ smell very sensitive) is added to the commercial gas, in order to be detected at the lowest concentration possible, and way millions of time lower than the LEL range of concentration. Very few people cannot detect that offensive smell> But if you do smell it call the gas company to check you gas pipes and appliances for suspected leaks…

  5. The oil under Iraq doesn’t belong to Iraqis, the gas (and poppies) in Afghanistan doesn’t belong to Afghanis, the coal under Kentucky doesn’t belong to the good people of Kentucky and the oil in Louisiana doesn’t belong to Americans. And people continue to do the dirty work for the government and the corporations – working in their mines and oilfields, making bombs and deadly chemicals, fighting their wars, never thinking or seemingly caring about who’s being harmed or that one day the ones being harmed might be themselves or their own children. When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn.

    I live in western Colorado. Lots of concerned citizens here about frakking, but lots and lots of people are happy campers making up and over $200k/year. Point out to the gas believers even the slightest environmental impact – for example that these well heads take up an acre and a road each, and that the ground cover has been scraped away and now when the wind blows its a mega-dust storm – and people will turn away. It’s all too good for the economy to criticize. So I guess we’ll just sit and wait until we look like everywhere else.

  6. Pingback: What They Don’t Want You to Know About This Depth Survey | The Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle

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