Lake Loss

A lake has disappeared: "Four sinkholes beneath a 285-acre lake in central Florida, and one in a nearby ridge, caused the lake to drain completely earlier this month, flooding two nearby homes and killing wildlife. An engineering firm in Lakeland, where Scott Lake is located, is repairing the damage."

[Image: Scott Lake, minus Scott Lake. (Via)].

In the process, engineers have concluded that "a permanent plug must be installed in the throat of the sinkhole to stop the water drain. The lake shoreline, parts of which have sunk into the sinkhole, must also be restored. The firm must also determine how to refill the lake." Good luck!

This, of course, reminds me of Lake Peigneur, Louisiana. There, an oil-drilling crew accidentally punctured the upper dome of a salt mine located directly beneath the lake in which the crew had been stationed:
Texaco, who had ordered the oil probe, was aware of the salt mine's presence and had planned accordingly; but somewhere a miscalculation had been made, which placed the drill site directly above one of the salt mine's 80-foot-high, 50-foot-wide upper shafts. As the freshwater poured in through the original 14-inch-wide hole, it quickly dissolved the salt away, making the hole grow bigger by the second. The water pouring into the mine also dissolved the huge salt pillars which supported the ceilings, and the shafts began to collapse... Meanwhile, up on the surface, the tremendous sucking power of the whirlpool was causing violent destruction. It swallowed another nearby drilling platform whole, as well as a barge loading dock, 70 acres of soil from Jefferson Island, trucks, trees, structures, and a parking lot. The sucking force was so strong that it reversed the flow of a 12-mile-long canal which led out to the Gulf of Mexico, and dragged 11 barges from that canal into the swirling vortex, where they disappeared into the flooded mines below.
Perhaps now the mines will become a scuba-diving park...

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Anonymous bodhi said...

     I didn't even know this kind of thing can happen, but apparently it can.  The Lake Peigneur story is wild, and I like that "damninteresting.com" site - well written, and good choice of topics.  Keep up the good work!

July 09, 2006 1:48 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Hey bodhi - Thanks, and glad you like the blog and links. How's LA?

July 09, 2006 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use to live and work in Lafayette,La. and happened to be driving by Lake Peigneur when the drilling incident occured. Fortunately no one was hurt or lost their life when this happened. Later on the evening news there was an interview with a local cajun gentleman who had been fishing in the lake with his son. The interview was pretty funny,unintentionally, the man with a heavy cajun accent went on to explain how he "thought" that the world was coming to an end. He was able to get his motor started up and get away. Enjoy your site! Pooyie,cher!

July 10, 2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous brad said...

I was shocked when I heard about this from my parents as they live around the corner from the lake. People stood at edge of the lake and watched as alligators, turtles and other wildlife got sucked into the whirling vortex that was created.

Apparently this had happened before in 1972. The residents fixed the leak. It may not be as easy with the red tape that exists now.

I would be happy to see if I can dig up some additional photos from my family and friends to send to you on the before, during and after.

July 12, 2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Brad - If the photos aren't hard to come by - i.e. they're already digital and just waiting to be emailed - I'd love to see them. But if it's a huge scanning/cropping/correcting/saving operation, then it's probably too much.

But I'm envious; would love to have seen that happen... Maybe we should all go find a lake and drain it.

July 15, 2006 10:11 AM  

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