Calls pour in from concerned residents
On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, sonic booms heard every five minutes had residents of Willowdale, Willowridge and Mimosa subdivisions calling the parish office to find out what was happening. Each time the sonic wave moved through the neighborhoods, it sounded like a door being slammed shut, say residents who were home at the time.
The booms were the result of seismic testing for oil on property located just to the south of the subdivisions.
According to Seismic Exchange Inc., who was administering the testing, the sonic booms are created when dynamite is exploded under the ground. The resulting shock waves can indicate whether or not oil is present.
Eric Schuster, spokesman for the company, said that as a rule explosions are kept 500 feet from dwellings to prevent any possible damage, but after complaints of the explosive noises came pouring in on Wednesday, the company increased the buffer zone and decided not to shoot into the holes closest to the neighborhoods.
Schuster said that Seismic Exchange has found 500 feet to be a safe distance from buildings. Some residents claim otherwise.
At least two residents, one on Wade St. in Mimosa and one on Patricia Ct. in Willowdale reported finding new cracks in their homes that had not been there before the testing began.
Seismic Exchange Inc. finished testing the area on Wednesday and have since moved on to Lake Catouachi.