BAYOU CORNE — Weekly housing assistance checks for residents evacuated due to a large sinkhole in Assumption Parish will not be distributed Thursday in Pierre Part as previously scheduled, officials said.
Storm conditions from Hurricane Isaac and the uncertainty of its aftermath led officials with Texas Brine Co. LLC of Houston to postpone the check distribution, Texas Brine officials said.
“Our intent is to reschedule the distribution to Friday, Aug. 31, but we have not yet been able to confirm a venue,” company officials said in a news release.
Once a venue is confirmed, parish officials will be notified, the company said.
Texas Brine made a “significant contribution” to the fund from which the $875 checks are being issued by Texas Brine’s hired administrator.
Assumption Parish officials said they expect 50 to 70 mph winds in the parish with gusts of 85 mph on Wednesday and have ordered a mandatory evacuation of the parish.
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources officials have said they believe a plugged and abandoned Texas Brine salt cavern failed and could be the cause of the sinkhole, though DNR has ordered the company to drill a well into the cavern to find out more.
Under Texas Brine’s original permit application for the cavern, the company is required to offer housing assistance to residents in the event of a sinkhole and evacuation, regardless of cause, DNR officials have said.
The status of the sinkhole remained unchanged Tuesday, parish officials said. Drilling operations ceased Monday and all monitors were removed due to Hurricane Isaac’s approach.