More suspected tar balls come ashore in Biloxi - - The News for South Mississippi

More suspected tar balls come ashore in Biloxi


BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - More suspected tar balls have turned up on the beach in Biloxi. Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy told WLOX Monday that 20 more objects, believed to be tar balls from the BP oil leak, were found by teams working the beach.

Lacy said the objects are five to eight centimeters in diameter, about the size of a piece of charcoal. All have been sent to laboratories for testing to determine if they indeed are a result of the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 70 other tar balls were discovered in Harrison and Hancock Counties over the weekend.

Eagle Finegan came across one in Bay St. Louis. As a professional photographer, she often finds some of her most picturesque snapshots on the beach.

"I was doing my almost daily walk looking for my photo opportunities."

She said when she made it to the area around the St. Stanislaus School Pier, she saw something she had never seen before.

"I came across a tar ball. I guess we all kind of wanted to know what they look like. I was really surprised."

Finegan said her immediate reaction was to do what she knows best.

"I photographed it. Did what any photographer would do, I documented the moment and that it is here."

MDEQ SCAT Team members found a total of 13 tar balls between Nicholson Avenue in Waveland and the Bay St. Louis Bridge over the weekend.

"We're patrolling the beaches with our personnel a couple of times a day. What we've been finding is a few small tar balls. We found some items yesterday that's being tested right now. We don't know exactly what it is, but it's being tested and hopefully we'll know within a day or two exactly what it is," said Hancock Co. EMA Director Brian Adam.

Most of the tar balls are hard, black and have the appearance of modeling clay. Authorities are asking people not to touch them because they can be hazardous.

"We know people are going to go to the beaches. The beaches are still open at this time, but if you see anything suspicious, please do not pick it up. We don't know the actual effects as of yet," Adam said.

Finegan is still in shock over her discovery.

"I guess we've all been expecting it, but it was a surprise to actually find one on the beach."

Anyone who may run across a tar ball on the beach is asked to contact your local Emergency Operation Center.

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