Liberty Co. sinkhole's appetite decreasing

May 9, 2008 6:56:00 PM PDT
The massive sinkhole in Daisetta in Liberty County doesn't seem to be growing any bigger, but local officials are a bit overwhelmed and are now asking the state for help. PHOTOS: See SkyEye HD images from the sinkhole

Curiosity and fascination over the Daisetta sinkhole has filled the little town with spectators. The massive pit has even gained national attention.

But town officials say as the nation watches the hole grow, they say state officials have done little to help the Liberty County town.

"I'm really surprised, but this is a little, small town," said Lynn Fregia with the Daisetta Fire Department. "But if this would be in Harris County, if this would be in Houston, the government would have stepped in. Somebody would have stepped in and done something by now."

Daisetta was once a bustling oil town. Today, the population is under 1,000. The fire department is volunteer-based and its 19 firefighters have been stretched to their limits.

"What we want is somebody to come down here and talk to us and take some concerns," said Fregia.

The county judge says they have contacted the Coast Guard for assistance as well as other county resources and there's now a plan to fence off the area to keep spectators back.

"At the very least, we're going to put up some temporary no trespassing signs where we have less manpower," said Cpl Hugh Bishop with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. "But fencing is one of the options we have discussed, so that way if somebody takes it on their own to cross that, they do it at their own peril."

TxDOT is expected to visit the site later today to look at FM 770 to see if the hole is causing any stress to the road. The highway will remain closed for the weekend.

If anyone wants to come out and take a look at the hole, they can do so between 4pm and 7pm today. Anyone caught out there after that will be arrested.

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