BP Oil Spill time line

April 20, 2010 was the start of the worst oil spill in U.S. History. Eleven people died as the Deepwater Horizon Rig exploded. The fire burned for 36 hours. 
More than 3 million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. That oil started to wash up on Alabama's beaches in May and vacationers canceled their reservations.

Businesses across the state filed claims against BP for the lost revenue.  Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said at the time,  "We have to be realistic and understand there's not enough money to make everybody that was affected whole." 

In September, 2010, 153 days after the explosion, government scientists confirmed the oil well had been permanently plugged. But three years later,
a WSFA 12 News Investigation found tar balls still washing up on Alabama's beaches. On a recent trip to Gulf Shores, we found no signs of oil. Tourism officials say 2015 is shaping up to be another strong year.

GULF SHORES, AL (WSFA) - 2014 was the fourth record year post-oil spill.

"We've had four years on the roll with back-to-back-to-back record years. So far this year, we're in 2015, we're running about 15 percent above last year," said Gulf Coast Tourism CEO Herb Malone.

Thursday's settlement is not the first settlement with BP. In 2012, the company pleaded guilty to 14 criminal charges and agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines. Also that year, a judge approved BP's settlement with people and businesses claiming to have lost money because of the spill.

BP initially estimated it would pay $8 billion dollars to settle more than 100,000 claims.