Sinkhole in Daisetta is growing

The back of a warehouse on FM 770 is collapsing into the sinkhole in Daisetta.

Late Sunday afternoon, the sinkhole in Daisetta began growing. It now is threatening more structures and equipment at DeLoach Oil and Gas Waste Well, located on the west side of FM 770 in Daisetta. On May 7, 2008, a 60-foot-deep sinkhole over several acres formed in a collapsed section of the salt dome in Daisetta, swallowing trees, power poles, buildings and heavy equipment. The sinkhole is believed to now be 150 feet deep.

The original sinkhole is about 80 feet west of FM 770 on the north edge of the City of Daisetta.

For the last 15 years, the sinkhole has remained stable, but that all changed Sunday afternoon when the ground around the sinkhole began to collapse. The back of a building on the property, which faces FM 770 and is directly next to the sinkhole, is already losing its foundation. Four large storage tanks nearby, holding what is believed to be sodium silicate, are also on shaky ground.

Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller looks out toward the growing Daisetta sinkhole.

Large cracks have already formed in the concrete foundation around the tanks, the building and a large piece of oil drilling equipment.

According to Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller, the owner of the property has been advised that the chemicals being stored in the tank need to be pumped out and removed from the property on Monday, assuming the sinkhole does not grow overnight and claim the tanks.

Daisetta Mayor Eric Thaxton told Bluebonnet News that he was notified by a concerned citizen around 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday after cracking noises could be heard around the sinkhole, an indication that the sinkhole was growing.

Equipment on the west side of the Daisetta sinkhole appeared to be falling into the hole on Sunday.

“The sinkhole is growing. It’s growing at a slow rate, but it is growing,” Thaxton said.

After investigating the situation, Thaxton then notified local and state officials, including the Texas Department of Emergency Management. Entergy, the local electric service provider, also was notified as power poles that supply electricity to a handful of customers in Daisetta are also in danger of falling into the hole.

When asked if any nearby homes were at risk, Thaxton said that owners of two homes south of the sinkhole have been notified of the situation. No evacuations are planned at this time and the roadway remains open.

The entire city of Daisetta sits on the salt dome, which is located 0.3 miles north-northeast of Daisetta and about two miles south of the nearby town of Hull.

Note: This is a developing story. Bluebonnet News will provide an update as more information becomes available.

Large cracks in the pavement have formed around the Daisetta sinkhole.
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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