Filmmaker begins to wrap up work on sinkhole documentary

Filmmaker begins to wrap up work on sinkhole documentary
Published: Apr. 6, 2015 at 10:41 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2015 at 11:38 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Local filmmaker Victoria Greene is nearing the end of her almost two-year journey capturing the story of a community affected by a sinkhole.

Her documentary project follows several families from Bayou Corne through their almost three-year ordeal living with the giant Louisiana sinkhole.

"Forgotten Bayou" follows from the time the sinkhole opened up in August 2012 through the months of uncertainty to the final settlements with Texas Brine.

Greene is in the process of finishing interviews and editing the film that she hopes will be ready for the three-year anniversary of the opening of the sinkhole.

"It's been a long haul, but we're trying to capture the home owner's journey through this experience," said Greene. "Letting the viewer witness what it's like to be part of a community that is, in essence, a ghost town."

Green hopes to enter the film in the Sundance Film Festival.

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 breached.

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. All of the oil and debris was removed in 2013.

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 asked to evacuate, but half chose to stay. All residents began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week. Texas Brine owns the salt cavern that breached, 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. Engineering surveys show the sinkhole itself it beginning to slow and stabilize, but the recovery is focused on another danger; natural gas that gathered underneath a nearby aquifer.

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