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2013 November 24, Sunday
Bayou Corne, Louisiana

Two months since our last flyover of the Bayou Corne sinkhole, and our 14th "look from above" at this unfolding tragedy since August of 2012. Photos and video are provided below, with some comments reflecting on what we have seen over these past 16 months here.  We also bring you some interesting photos of sights between here and New Orleans, and along the Mississippi River and the famous "Cancer Alley."  Here are a few notable photos from today, with video and many more photos below:

 

 

 

With autumn in full force and winter nearing, the natural foliage is turning brown or bare, making it startlingly apparent how many bayous and waterways thread their ways through this area -- indeed, throughout Louisiana.  Here near Bayou Corne, the waterways all appear to be interconnected, and unfortunately very connected to the sinkhole -- which from a distance looks like an innocent small lake, but it is so far from that.  Newly-graded roads and berms around the sinkhole have appeared at increasingly great distance from the center of the sinkhole, as its perimeter grows.

The beautiful but mostly abandoned community of Bayou Corne to the northwest looks small now, compared to the sinkhole. From the air, it is apparent how prevalent here are wells and other sites associated with the drilling, processing, and storing of oil, gas, and brine. It is ironic to find so much industry in what is otherwise a lush, scenic swamp and wetland area. 

There is not much happy that we can say about Bayou Corne these days.  Facts and news are amply covered these days by private blogs and websites.  If only the underlying problem, the prevention of future problems here and elsewhere, and some acceptable remedy for the citizens of this community could be better addressed and all of us more assured that this threat is no more.

Here is a video taken today, followed by more photos of the sinkhole and surrounding area.  Following that, we offer many photos of more sites, some of them quite interesting or beautiful, including wetlands; a paddlewheel cruise boat of Mark Twain stories called the "American Queen" and various barges on the Mississippi River; refineries and other oil-related industrial areas along the Mississippi; lovely bridges and sites such as the quaint and determined little settlement of Frenier on the southwest shore of Lake Pontchartrain; and finally, our return to New Orleans.

 

It was nice to be in the air again over this beautiful part of the world.

 

 

 

 

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The waypoints noted on the map of today's flight were as follows: 

WPT LAT LON TIME DESCRIPTION
943 30.00 -90.69 2013-11-24
T21:01:46Z
Lots of sugar cane fields being burned.Also two large flying groups of woodstorks!
944 30.00 -91.05 2013-11-24
T21:09:27Z
Large controlled fire in fields NE of Bayou Corne
945 30.12 -90.72 2013-11-24
T21:44:32Z
Winding bayous, gorgeous.