Nightly News   |  August 07, 2010

Anxious Gulf residents hope for brighter days

Now that the damaged BP well appears to be plugged, skeptical residents are wondering: When will life return to normal on the Gulf Coast? NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>>> a defining week in the gulf oil disaster is ending, bp 's well appears to be plugged. when might life return to normal on the gulf coast . nbc's ron mott explores that question for us tonight.

>> reporter: charter fishing captain alex mcenvel hopes business will be steered his way now that bp successfully killed the once-spewing oil well this week with heavy mud and cement. but he is bracing for a tough sell.

>> i think we are going to battle public perception of the gulf is covered in black oil when it is really not when we have a lot of pretty water and fishing.

>> reporter: federal officials say bp is closing in on permanently sealing the well something that could happen late next week. still many haunting memories remain.

>> this event was horrific by any dimension, i met with hundreds of people across the gulf coast who watching that image of the oil flowing out into the ocean every day was so scary.

>> reporter: and scary is how brenda lincoln and her husband cary describe the future of their rental property business which is why they sought a small business loan friday. as bp begins downsizing clean-up and containment operations, the lincolns expect to lose their tenants and say prospects for new ones aren't strong.

>> we're going to have a lot less people here.

>> reporter: what will be there are questions especially from those most directly affected by the spill, namely commercial fishing operators, though authorities have recently reopened some gulf walt tires fishing a lot of these boats could sit idle for a while. shrimper pete barika says uncertainties in the region have unnerved many of this colleagues.

>> it is not a good scene on the bayous. people are skeptical.

>> reporter: skeptical but hoping brighter days are ahead for a cherished way of life .