Posted: Aug 5, 2012 12:30 PM by AP
NAPOLEONVILLE, La. (AP) - Officials have closed a four-mile section of highway near an acre of swampland that liquefied into soupy muck, toppling tall baldcypress trees and moving a 400-foot-long section of a natural gas pipeline. Louisiana Highway 70 crosses over the pipeline and the fear is that - if the 36-inch pipeline breaks - there could be an explosion.
The Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness says the highway will stay closed until gas is removed from that line, owned by Crosstex Energy LP, and one owned by Acadian Gas Pipeline LLC of Thibodaux. Both companies say they are working on it.
The emergency office director's assistant, Kayte Landry, says about 150 houses remain evacuated. Residents were told to leave Friday as the area of slurry expanded.