The Advocate

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BAYOU CORNE — A growing, 5.5-acre sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish swamps gobbled up an another strip of land Tuesday, parish officials said.

The 80-by-20-foot section on the eastern side of the sinkhole fell in, or sloughed off, about 4:45 p.m., parish officials said.

John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said trees fell in with the collapse, but no one was injured.

He said the collapsed area extended from a mat road that Texas Brine Co. of Houston has installed to clean trees, other vegetative matter and oil out the sinkhole to a point 80 feet north or the road.

The sinkhole is located between Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou South of La. 70 South. Its discovery on Aug. 3 led to a mandatory evacuation of 150 homes in the area that remains in place.

Believed to have been caused by a failed Texas Brine salt cavern in the nearby Napoleonville Dome, the sinkhole’s surface area has kept enlarging as land around its rim crumbles into the slurry-filled hole.

These collapses are expected, scientists and Texas Brine officials have said, as the banks along the inside of the 449-foot deep hole find a stable slope.

Boudreaux said the collapse Tuesday was one of the largest single sloughing events seen to date.