Page 1

Huge Sinkhole Forces Mandatory Evacuation of nearly 150 Homes in Louisiana

Summary: A growing sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana has led local officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order for about 150 residences due to fears of potential radiation and explosions. Parish officials have ordered the company responsible for a nearby salt cavern to drill a relief well to determine if a breach in the cavern has caused the sinkhole.

(August 13, 2012) - Approximately 150 homes in Assumption Parish, Louisiana are facing a mandatory evacuation order as the result of a massive sinkhole. The sinkhole appeared August 3 and original measurements showed that it was 324 feet in diameter with a depth of 422 feet in one corner, according to John Boudreaux, director of the Office of Homeland Security in Assumption Parish. However, members of a Louisiana National Guard crew that flew over the giant sinkhole late last week reported that it has since grown another 10 to 20 feet.

Officials have discovered that the sinkhole has caused a 36-inch natural gas pipeline to bend, raising the possibility of an explosion. As a result, Highway 70 near the sinkhole was temporarily closed, the owners of three natural gas pipelines at the edge of the sinkhole were asked to flare off and depressurize their pipelines as a precaution, and authorities enacted a mandatory evacuation for between 100 and 150 homes in the area. If any of the dangers should become more imminent, the order will be escalated to a forced evacuation.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has issued a declaration of emergency allowing the Governor's Office of Homeland Security to assist in the efforts if necessary, and local leaders remain committed to determining the cause of the sinkhole and keeping affected residents informed about the situation as it develops. The latest official news about the sinkhole, along with contact numbers and related links, can be found at

In addition to the local government site, a number of other websites are helping spread awareness of the serious situation in Assumption Parish both nationally and abroad. Among these is, a Facebook fanpage that offers an online community where people can share their thoughts and comments about the latest Louisiana news and events, including the sinkhole.

"We feel it is very important to get the news out about the emerging crisis in southern Louisiana," notes page administrator S.S. Ober-Lehn. "And Facebook's international appeal makes the Louisiana Proud to Call It Home fanpage a natural place for anyone anywhere in the world who is concerned about the sinkhole to come together to discuss this problem and help spread awareness about it."

To find out more about current news and events in Louisiana, please visit

la pr