Feb 25, 2014 8:09 PM by Dave Fields

Update: 12 homes evacuated in Acadia Parish

Twelve homes have been evacuated following what deputies are calling a "well blowout" in Acadia Parish. Troopers say approximately thirty people are affected and one and a half mile radius around Highway 13 and Tiger Lane is being evacuated. Highway 13 between Tiger Lane and Branch Hwy (Hwy 370) is also being shut down.

Cleco officials tells us, as a precaution, they are undergoing a controlled shut down of the power plant near the site of the well blow out. They do not expect any power outages because of the shut down. All personnel on site will remain there until if/when they are told they must evacuate.

Mack Atteberry, whose family runs a rice farm less than one-quarter mile away, described what he heard as a "loud, continuous roar" and that he and his wife have been evacuated to Eunice. Before evacuating, Atteberry indicated that he was able to speak to rig workers about what had occurred.

"The well was blowing through the drill pipes and through the kelly and back through the mud pumps," said Atteberry of his conversation with rig employees.

Long-time resident of the area and taxidermist, Ben Bischoff, expressed concern about the nearby electrical power plant, he says, is less than a half a mile away from the location of what he described as a "well blowout."

"What you are worried about is a spark and a fire. You could see a lot of steam and a lot of smoke coming from the oil well," Bischoff said."It was extremely loud. I could see it. What's happening is millions of pounds of gas are blowing through the casing of the drill."

Bischoff also indicated that he was concerned that an explosion "may melt the well."

"You could see a lot of steam and a lot of smoke coming from the oil well," Bischoff added. Bishcoff said his family has lived in the area for more than 80 years.


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