Friday, May 9, 2008

"Sinkhole and Town: Now You See It ..."--The New York Times


“I’m used to things blowing up, not falling in,” Mr. Branch said.

Two trucks have already tumbled into the saltwater muck, along with two grain tanks, utility poles and pine trees. A work shed of the DeLoach Oil and Gas Well Vacuum Service adjacent to the pit hung precariously over the rim, likely to topple in next.

“I’ve got some lakefront lots to sell here,” said a neighbor, Harold McCann, 82, as he sat on his property staring out at what had been, barely 24 hours ago, a wooded field.

Officials expressed cautious optimism Thursday that the collapse had stabilized. “It appears to be slowing down, the hole does,” Corporal Bishop said.

But he said that “there are still chunks falling in” and that the authorities were prepared to evacuate Daisetta’s 1,034 residents if the hole suddenly grew.