Hancock County officials are scrambling to deal with thousands of dead nutria that washed ashore on beaches during Hurricane Isaac.
The dead swamp rats have started to stink and officials say that could cause a health and environmental hazard to people.
"They're in the tide and just floating in and they're probably going to continue coming in over the next several days," said Waveland Mayor David Garcia. "There's no telling how many thousands we're going to have."
Officials with the Department of Environmental Quality say so far they've counted more than 5,000 dead nutria rats on Hancock County beaches, but they say that number could top 10,000 before they all finish washing ashore.
You may recall Hancock County faced a similar Nutria problem after Hurricane Gustav.
"If you're out here, it's a terrible smell," Garcia said. "As this heat continues, they're just going to blow up and pop, making it even more of a health hazard."
County leaders have asked MEMA for help. They are hoping state officials will hire crews and pay for removal and disposal. If that doesn't happen, officials will have to contract out the job themselves.
"Either way, we've got a time frame that we need to get out there and get it taken care of," said Hancock County Road Manager Bill Johnson. "Regular debris can sit out there for a little while until we take care of it. Because it's such a large quantity of carcasses that need to be cleaned up immediately, we've got a short window here. They just get to the point where they are unbearable."
A decision on whether MEMA will fund the clean-up operation is expected Saturday morning.
The Hancock County Emergency Management Agency says they have closed Beach Boulevard from Lakeshore Road through Bay St. Louis and Waveland while officials try to clean up some 15,000+ nutria that washed up on the beach there.
Monday, September 1 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:27:53 GMT
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for a 17-year-old girl they say was shot and abducted Sunday morning from a home in Jackson.More >>
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for a 17-year-old girl they say was shot and abducted Sunday morning from a home in Jackson. Katelyn Beard, 17, was taken from 4244 Lynda Street in Jackson between 6am and 7am Sunday morning. Police said Beard is seriously injured and is in need of medical attention.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:34:07 GMT
Margaritaville Biloxi executives have explored options to see if the casino can remain open past September 19, but a spokesman says no deals have been worked out yet.More >>
Back in July, Margaritaville managers told their employees they're guaranteed to receive paychecks until September 19th. Since that announcement, Margaritaville executives have explored options to see if the casino can remain open. But a spokesman says no deals have been worked out yet.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:44:35 GMT
One of the biggest stories on the coast continues to be construction of a baseball stadium in Biloxi to bring minor league baseball to the coast. The Biloxi City Council gets regular updates on the progress. TheMore >>
One of the biggest stories on the coast continues to be construction of a baseball stadium in Biloxi to bring minor league baseball to the coast. The Biloxi City Council gets regular updates on the progress.More >>