Seven years later; Oil spill anniversary
Gulf Shores Ala. (WPMI —
The oil well explosion happened April 20th. 30 days later May 20th is when the oil washed up on our beaches. On that day it was hard to believe the beaches would ever look like this again.
Seven years later Ike Williams, who's run a successful beach chair business in Gulf Shores says not everything has been resolved.
" I know they paid their fines but whoever is in charge of the claims process is really dragging their feet. There's still a lot of claims out there still unsettled," said Gulf Shores Business Owner Ike Williams.
Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft says the city's relationship with oil giant BP is a complicated one.
" The BP that was drilling the oil and screwed it up and the corporate that made the decision of greed that forced that to happen everybody is angry at. The people they sent here they were here to help us and they did everything they could to help us recover," said Mayor Craft.
Up and coming small businesses never made it and the beach real estate market was hit hard too.
David Swiger says losses then have now become huge gains today.
" There was thinning out if you will of real estate agents during that time period. Some smart investors who were contrarians bought during that time period and they are reaping the benefits now. we've had five record years since that oil spill," said Swiger.
The unknown is still out there. Its possible Tar Matts could be covered up by sand and they could break up at anytime. But for now the beaches are back.