Business slips as slick nears Gulf shore

As the massive oil spill reaches parts of the Gulf Coast, its impact is felt in the Palmetto State.

More than 200,000 gallons of oil each day has been pouring from the leaking well after an explosion burned and sank a BP owned rig more than two weeks ago.

Crews are now trying to contain the leak with a 100 ton concrete and stele box.

And even though the oil hasn't made landfall at Cedar Point Pier outside Mobile, AL, the business owners say they're feeling the hurt already.

One bait shop may have the best prices around, but what they don't have is many takers these days.

Mac McRae's usually thriving business has been scared off by the prospects of oil.

"It's just a psychological fact with oil in the water and people are finicky," he says.

The pier is usually filled with hundreds of fisherman. Even more come in for bait before shoving off in their boats.

But in the past week-and-a-half, McCrae has seen a 90 percent drop in business.

"I pray for a lot of things, but when you got a 4,000 square mile slick out there it's not good," McRae adds.

Larry Robinson visits the pier two or three times a week. The possibility of oil hasn't scared him off, but the prospect of it coming ashore does worry him.

"This is our recreation," the fisherman explains. "Fishing off this pier, and if this is gone, how long will it be before we get it back?"

Along the north and south sides of Dauphin Island, Alabama the military and work crews continue to fortify the shore should oil make landfall.

And while Mac McRae plays the waiting game, he and his customers hope business doesn't dry up any more in the mean time.

"I'm not involved in the business aspect of it, but I certainly feel for the people that are because if it takes their livelihood away, what are they going to do for a living?" Johnson says.

The folks in Cedar Point certainly aren't alone. The tourism industry as a whole in Alabama is taking a big hit, and that's why state tourism officials are pumping major money into an ad campaign to lure people back to the coastline.

They want to clear up any misconceptions about the safety of their region. Mobile, Alabama and its coastline is open for business.

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