Oil spill is impacting economy in Texas City

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by Marcelino Benito / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 23 at 11:41 PM

TEXAS CITY, Texas -- The oil spill is having a ripple effect across the coast, and in Texas City where that spill happened, business has come to a halt.

“We’re dependent on weather and the dike, if you cut either of those out, we just die," said Victor Atkins.

Along the dike today, no fishermen, just cleanup crews in the distance. But traces of oil already made their way to Texas City's shores.

“People come here to buy bait and to fish off that dike,” said business owner Denise Pickle.

The tackle shops were unusually quiet for a Sunday, except for the occasional phone call of customers wondering what was going on.

“It hurts, it really hurts," said Pickle.

The paint trickles down to those that fry up the day's catch.

“We’d normally be at 800 or 900 dollars," said Atkins. "I think we’re at 80. So it's definitely killed us."

Meanwhile on Galveston Island, the ferries aren't sailing to Bolivar.

"It's pretty frustrating right now," said one cruiser.

The cruise terminal also impacted. Families that were ready to set sail forced to wait for ships stopped at sea. At sea, things were no better. Passengers on the Navigator of the Seas snapped photos of ships in line at a standstill.

The oil spill forced all ship traffic to stop until late this evening, when the Coast Guard cleared cruise ships to dock. The maneuvered through oil slicks and into port more than 12 hours later. The question now is: when can they set sail again?

“We’re hoping we get information of certainty tonight,“ said Joel Collier.

But at this point, nothing's certain. Both for cruisers and the Texas City businesses praying for a quick clean up.

"Considering how much spills you can't tell what the ocean is going to do, you have to sit back and hope for the best," said Atkins.

The Coast Guard says no ships will be allowed to leave port until the oil spill is fully under control. If you're planning on setting sail onboard a cruise from Galveston in the coming days, check with your cruise line before making the trip to port.

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