Abbeville Joins In BP Law Suit

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Area economies are bouncing back, three years after the BP oil spill. But, several small communities have filed suit to get financial help from the company behind the mess.

Abbeville is one of the cities claiming the effects of the oil spill rippled all the way to their area, saying a drastic drop in beach traffic slowed their flow of revenue.

Small business owners like Winnie Landsverk rely on cars where the beach is their final destination.
But back in 2010 the BP oil spill brought traffic to a screeching halt.

Winnie said, “We look forward to them coming and so all of a sudden there was no traffic, there was no one coming.”

She saw a 50 to 60 percent drop in revenue that is why Abbeville is teaming up with several other municipalities asking BP to pay up.

Budget constraints over the past few years had city leaders crunching numbers.

City Clerk Pam Ward said, “A lot of the capital expenditures for large ticket items like tractors and mowers and police vehicles have been cut back to little to none.”

Now even a small win out of the $250,000 claim could help. Ward said, “If we could get a hold of the money it would go a long way.”

Business owners say that it wasn’t all negative and that the oil spill actually showed them that they can expand their services.

Winnie said, “Every one says I am a jack of all trades and I say maybe a master of none. Because of the economy and losing those businesses, I had to learn to rely on making things for myself. Believe it or not it has turned out to be a positive thing.”

City Leaders say it is going to most likely be a lengthy battle. So they are not expecting to see any money anytime soon.

Headland is also filing a claim in the lawsuit. They are asking for $1.6 million.