Bay St. Louis couple fears oil in yard - - The News for South Mississippi

Bay St. Louis couple fears oil in yard


By Al Showers – bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A Hancock County couple believes oil from the Deepwater Horizon has turned up in their yard.

Their property in the Lakeshore Community is about a half mile away from the closest marsh land in the area. But they believe the heavy rains that flooded their home last week, also brought in oil.

Shannon and Gerard Gelinas said they were shocked to see looked like oil in their yard.

"It looks exactly like what they're showing on the TV, as far as tar-balls," said Gerard Gelinas.

The brownish goo dots the landscape around the Gelinas' home. The couple said the stuff appeared after heavy rain last week that also pushed about an inch of water inside of their home.

"We found dead fish in the gutters, oil spots that are drying up," Gerard said. "It's like little bbs [from a BB gun] all over our ditch. Our property is black. The grass is dying where ever the blackness is."

"We're on a water well and all that stuff is seeping into the ground," Shannon said. "Our animals come out here. They drink water off the ground all the time. Our children play out here everyday. We don't know what kind of precautions to take if that is oil."

The couple reported the problem to the county emergency management office and a crew came to investigate.

"We got a phone call from two people from the Coast Guard," Shannon said. "They drove out here. They looked at the property, and said it's definitely something. We don't know what it is, but you can't really say it's from the Deepwater Horizon is what they said. They said that they thought we had a septic tank problem."

But there is a major problem with that theory.

"We're on a grinder system out here. We're not on a septic tank." said Gerard.

The Department of Environmental Quality came out Tuesday afternoon to collect samples of the substance for testing.

"If it's oil, what needs to be done to clean it up and what action are they willing to take to help? I don't think that's a lot to ask," said Shannon.

The DEQ representative told us it should take about a week before the test results on the substance come back.

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