Tequesta gas leak drains profits from nearby businesses

TEQUESTA, Fla. - A gas leak in Tequesta has been contained after leading to a 12-hour evacuation Thursday afternoon that lasted into Friday morning.

Friday, some area businesses were working to get back on their feet, saying the evacuation put a costly pause on their daily operations.

Stacy Lawrence, a clerk at the 7-Eleven along County Line Road, says the evacuations happened during their busiest time of day.

‪"Busy, very busy. It's right in the middle of people coming home from working,"‬ Lawrence said.

She was only a few hours into her shift when she says police cut her work day short.

"We couldn't get anything put away. They told us lock the doors and go."

Lawrence said the 12-hour evacuation cut her paycheck short, costing the 24-hour store thousands of dollars in lost business.

Down the street at the Tequesta Brewing Company, Asst. Brewer Kenny St. Cyr thought the evacuations would bring more people in for a drink.

"Once we realized some of the road blocks were stopping people from coming north on U.S 1, where it seems most of our crowd comes from, we figured the rest of our night was going to be pretty slow," St. Cyr said.

St. Cyr said the road closures happened on one of the brewery's busiest nights.

"Thursday night's one of my better nights to work at the bar and it hurt a little bit."

Lawrence was allowed back to work when the evacuation was over around 5 a.m.

"We just gotta buckle down and start over again," Lawrence said. "It's good knowing nobody got hurt and we were able to come back into the building and do what we gotta do."

A spokeswoman from Amerigas, the company that owns the propane tank, says if the company is found to be at fault for the leak, it will consider a compensation process that could reimburse some residents for expenses such as hotel stays that resulted from the evacuation. The company has not said if that will be extended to businesses.

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