County work crews and jail trustys have come to the rescue, helping to scoop thousands of dead mullet from the canals in and around Jourdan River Shores. Health Department officials had declared the fish kill a potential health hazard before the county could get to work.
"We took out 8,600 pounds yesterday and probably 15,000 pounds today, and it's 12 o'clock so we'll probably get another 7,000 pounds today," Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy Shorty Necaise says. "Plus we've got the other canals to go."
Ira Devillier lives in Jourdan River Shores, and until help arrived, he and a neighbor were bagging the dead fish themselves.
With two of us dipping fish, honestly it would have taken us a month to get them out by ourselves," Devillier says.
Another area resident, Jerry Bazor, is happy to see officials finally doing something about the fish.
"Several people have been calling and couldn't get any help out here, but I don't think the officials really realized how bad it was until it was shown on TV and they saw how it was like a losing battle out here," Bazor says. "We're very much relieved at least the odor going to eventually be out of here, and it will be cleaned back up again."
County leaders declared the fish kill a state of emergency, which allows them to recoup the cost of the clean up from the Department of Environmental Quality.
"The actual cost would include the manpower the use of the equipment the actual disposal costs and any other hidden cost that we could tie back to the removal of these fish," Hancock County Chancery Clerk Tim Kellar says.