Louisiana is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

Louisiana stands as a state teeming with history, culture, and natural allure. Yet, it has weathered numerous disasters, including hurricanes, floods, oil spills, and industrial mishaps. Some of these adversities have birthed ghost towns – forsaken locales once buzzing with life. One such ghost town is Bayou Corne, a small community engulfed by a colossal sinkhole in 2012. In this blog post, we delve into the narrative of Bayou Corne, examining the sinkhole’s origins, repercussions, and the town’s current state and future.

The Story of Bayou Corne

Nestled in Assumption Parish, Louisiana, Bayou Corne was a rural enclave situated approximately 50 miles south of Baton Rouge. The town, named after the bayou coursing through it, boasted a populace of around 300, predominantly Cajuns engaged in fishing, farming, and the oil industry. It also housed a wildlife refuge, a state park, and a historic plantation.

On August 3, 2012, Bayou Corne’s destiny underwent a seismic shift when a massive sinkhole emerged near the bayou, consuming trees, boats, and a portion of a road. This sinkhole resulted from the collapse of a salt dome, a subterranean salt formation mined by Texas Brine. The company’s drilling into the salt dome, intended for brine extraction, breached the dome’s wall, forming a cavity filled with water and gas. The mounting pressure caused the salt dome to crumble, giving rise to the sinkhole.

Initially spanning 400 feet in diameter, the sinkhole swiftly expanded to over 800 feet and eventually exceeded 1,000 feet. It released natural gas and crude oil, contaminating the air, water, and soil. Faced with this imminent threat, residents were compelled to evacuate, leaving behind homes and possessions, uncertain of their return.

Causes and Consequences of the Sinkhole

The Bayou Corne sinkhole wasn’t a natural occurrence but a result of decades of irresponsible mining practices by Texas Brine and other companies in the region. Exploiting one of the world’s largest salt domes since the 1950s, these companies drilled numerous wells, creating caverns for storing natural gas, oil, and chemicals. Neglecting regulations, they failed to monitor the stability of the salt dome and ignored warning signs like cracks, leaks, and seismic activity.

The consequences were severe. Homes, livelihoods, and infrastructure were destroyed, compelling residents to relocate. Wildlife and vegetation suffered, and air, water, and soil were contaminated. The sinkhole heightened the risks of explosions, fires, and earthquakes as gas and oil escaped.

Current Status and Future of the Town

The Bayou Corne sinkhole persists, with no apparent resolution. Authorities monitor the situation, holding Texas Brine accountable. The company is required to compensate for damages, buy out residents’ properties, and implement measures to mitigate gas and oil emissions. Residents grapple with uncertainty, some accepting buyouts, others refusing, filing lawsuits, and forming community groups to advocate for their rights.

The future appears uncertain and gloomy. Bayou Corne may remain a permanent ghost town, succumbing to the relentless growth of the sinkhole. The environment may struggle to recover from pollution, and residents may endure lasting trauma. Yet, amidst tragedy, Bayou Corne exemplifies resilience and hope. While the town may be forgotten by many, its story deserves remembrance – a tale of both tragedy and heroism.

Leave a Comment