Thousands expected on Mississippi beaches despite closing

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 04, 2019

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Thousands of people are expected on Mississippi's beaches for the July Fourth holiday even though they can't go into the water because toxic bacteria are flourishing along the coast.

The president of the Harrison County Board of Supervisors, Beverly Martin, told the Sun Herald of Biloxi that crews prepared for more than 25,000 holiday beachgoers.

She said visitors are still welcome on the sand, just not in the water, on a day with temperatures peaking at 93 degrees.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has warned that polluted Midwest floodwaters have fed an outbreak of cyanobacterium. Popularly known as blue-green algae, it can cause rashes, diarrhea and vomiting. It's blooming from the Louisiana state line to Ocean Springs, and is spreading eastward as Mississippi River water pours into the Gulf.