CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - It could take until Thursday to restore gas service to 470 customers on Clearwater Beach.
The outage cost workers at restaurants big portions of their paychecks, with some saying they had made only a few dollars during what is supposed to be a bush tourist season.
“I was counting on spring break to make money,” said Siera Herbert, a server at Extreme Pizza. “We have an empty restaurant and we have turned away tons of people. There are only a certain amount of items we can do.”
The gas was knocked out at 11:30 Tuesday morning.
The problem started downtown as workers doing construction at the main hub tried to reroute the lines that feed the beach.
The city says a glitch caused pressure to be lost.
The vast majority without gas are homes north of Baymont, but ten percent are businesses, right in the middle of serving tourists.
“You can’t even fathom the money we lost today,” said David Lindquist, of The Beach Shanty.
The Beach Shanty closed two hours early, right in the middle of their usual breakfast rush.
“We has people coming in, line out the door. We had to turn them away.”
Clearwater Gas says they’ve fixed the problem at headquarters, but now need to restore service.
They’ll start with businesses, then move north of Baymont to all customers.
The tough part is sending workers to restart every single one of the 470 pilot lights.
“Luckily, we still have alcohol and everything, so that’s pretty big on the beach,” said Chaney Thomas, a server at Surfside.
Surfside warned customers that they could only make burgers, salads, tacos and pretzels.
For some tourists, no gas, no problem.
“They have a banging breakfast burger. It worked out well,” said Bailey Clair, who was visiting from Crystal River. “Water is free.”
Fox 13 has been told restorations started closest to the roundabout, but that it could take until Thursday to get every customer back on.