Gulf coast business owners worry about business impact

By Arielle Clay

DAUPHIN ISLAND, AL (WBRC) - Business owners on the Alabama Gulf Coast say the threat of oil reaching the Alabama shoreline is causing a panic among their customers.

Mike Thierry owns a charter boat and takes groups on fishing trips in the Gulf. He said in the past two days he has had ten customers cancel reservations.

"We keep trying to say everybody let's hold off let's not push the panic button until we know what's going on," Thierry said. "Out of a 90 to 100 day period, we have to fish.  If it keeps going like that I'm afraid we won't have a lot."

Carol Clark owns a bed and breakfast in Dauphin Island. She said the threat of oil on the Gulf Coast is as bad on her business as a hurricane.

"I've been through Katrina and Ivan and seven major hurricanes here and i have never been as frightened of a hurricane as i am of what this could do to the island," Clark said.

Clark said two weddings and all of her guests for next week have cancelled. She fears more will cancel.

"If our sands are inundated with oil and our beaches are black, I won't have a business," Clark said.

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