Business still hurting despite news of killing broken well

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's the news the Gulf Coast has been waiting for but for one business it's much too late to get out of the red this year. The National Incident Command Center says a relief well is expected to intersect with the blown out Deepwater Horizon well within 24 hours.

By Sunday, the broken well could be permanently sealed and declared dead. The 206 million gallons of oil which spewed into the Gulf created a financial strain on tourism and seafood businesses.

Not long ago the oil spill made live bait hard to come by at Ocean Springs Marine Mart. The owner is happy to say that's no longer the case.

"We've started catching bait again. We've got live shrimp, live groper, things like that," said owner Kenny Dinero. "They've opened up more waters, so people are starting to fish. And that's a good thing. It's picked up some. It's still not like it was last year at the same time, but it's a lot better than it was in July."

The bait shop owner said as people start to get back into fishing, other activities are competing for their time.

"It's football season, so it's going to slow down a little bit. School has started," Dinero said. "But as it cools off a little bit, usually October and November are good trout months. So hopefully we'll start seeing some more people out."

Even with a good customer base in October and November, Dinero said May, June, and July are his main money months, and that's was when the oil spill was at its worst. So he expects to take a loss this year.

"BP is not going to make me whole. What I've lost is what I've lost," said Dinero. "Bait business is a seasonal business. You've really got six months and they about wiped that out. I'll be here, but it's not good. As far as the help from BP, it's more of a run around."

Dinero said he's received payment from BP, and he's been told more is coming. Still he said the amount he's been promised barely adds up to a tenth of his loss revenue.

He said while a few people have expressed concern about eating Gulf seafood overall that has hurt business since waters reopened.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.