Woman documents the effects of giant sinkhole on the community

Published: Jan. 23, 2015 at 5:19 PM CST
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BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) - The community near the giant Louisiana sinkhole is largely a ghost town these days, but a filmmaker wants to make sure Bayou Corne is never forgotten.

"I haven't been in my home for one year," one woman said. "My home is deteriorating before my eyes."

For the past two years, Victoria Greene has been gathering interviews and information about the massive sinkhole and the effects it's had on Assumption Parish. The film will be finished in late spring, but a special preview gala is coming up next week in New Orleans.

"More importantly, it's the journey of the people and their emotions and what they've experienced from the moment that they were told, 'There's a mandatory evacuation. You must get out,'" Greene said.

Tickets for the fundraiser start at $75. The event will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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History of the Sinkhole

The sinkhole opened up in August 2012 and was roughly 1/24 of the size it is now. The sinkhole formed when an underground salt cavern collapsed.

In the past, seismic activity is reported, then the sinkhole burps up debris and then a slough-in happens. Burps occur when air and gas from deep in the sinkhole bubbles up. It can cause debris and an oily substance to float to the top. A slough-in is when the sinkhole swallows trees and land that is on the edge of the sinkhole.

Berms were placed around the sinkhole shortly after it opened up to keep the oily, debris filled water contained to the sinkhole area so it would not contaminate the area bayous.

It has more than two years since hundreds living near the giant sinkhole were forced from their homes.

Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months later, the ground opened up and left what is now a 29-acre sinkhole. Residents were evacuated and the most affected residents began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week. Texas Brine owns the salt cavern that collapsed, causing the sinkhole.

On August 2, 2013, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the state will be suing Texas Brine for environmental damages caused by the failed Texas Brine cavern.

Parish and Texas Brine officials agree the situation is far from over. 3D seismic surveys show the sinkhole itself it beginning to slow and stabilize, but the recovery is focused on another danger; natural gas gathering underneath a nearby aquifer.

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