Officials: OS beach a health nuisance; clean-up could begin soon - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Officials: OS beach a health nuisance; clean-up could begin soon

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A recent legal ruling over ownership of portions of the beach in Ocean Springs has prevented the county from clearing away Hurricane Isaac debris. That will soon change, thanks to a mandate from the state health department. A recent legal ruling over ownership of portions of the beach in Ocean Springs has prevented the county from clearing away Hurricane Isaac debris. That will soon change, thanks to a mandate from the state health department.
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

For more than two weeks, Ocean Springs beaches have been a smelly, ugly mess. A recent legal ruling over ownership of portions of the beach has prevented the county from clearing away Hurricane Isaac debris. That will soon change, because the state health department has determined the beach is dangerous. 

"It has the potential for personal injury," Dr. Bob Travnicek said of the debris. "It's in a public area, so it's a least a public nuisance, probably a public hazard."

The doctor said the debris piles could house an even more serious problem.

"It would be harborage for vermin and that is a big public health issue. And so how are you going to get the rats and like that [are] out of this? So that has to be cleaned up." 

"There's puddles and puddles of standing water, which I took pictures of, and that is going to be a huge or would be a place for mosquitos, especially with West Nile being a big issue," Travnicek said. "That would be a place where mosquitoes would be breeding."  

For the people who use and enjoy this beach on a daily basis, they don't care about the process of how this beach gets cleaned. They simply want it to get done now. 

Melissa Collier was on the beach today.  

"I think it's horrible. I've never seen it look this bad. It's an embarrassment to people that come and visit and it's a mess," Collier lamented. 

Bert Barras was playing in the sand with his daughter. 

"I think it would be a great idea to get it cleaned up. My daughter likes to come play here and at the park and everything. It would be nice for her to play at a nice, cleaner beach," Barras said. 

Kathie Gay was also enjoying the beach today.

"That makes me happy. I don't care if it's been declared that. If that's what it takes to get it cleaned up, then so be it," Gay said. 

City and county leaders will meet in the next couple of days to decide when the clean-up will begin. The county is responsible for maintaining the beach, but Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran says the city can provide extra manpower, if needed, to speed up the process.

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