Third Section Of Biloxi Beach Shut Down Because Of Contamination

The new area where the water is off limits is between Travia Avenue on the west and Iberville Avenue on the east. Two other sections of beach were closed Wednesday. One section is bordered by St. Peter on the west and St. Francis on the east. A third stretch of beach between Edgewater Drive and Briarfield Avenue was closed also.

High levels of fecal coliform bacteria prompted environmental officials to close the water in those areas.

Some visitors to the Coast were a little surprised, but others had already heard the news about the two sections of beach shutdown on Wednesday. This latest stretch of beach is a bit busier than the others, but vacationers seemed to understand the inconvenience for safety's sake.

Work crews began putting up warning signs along the beach just east of Rodenburg Avenue in Biloxi on Thursday. But moments before the latest warnings went up, we found several families enjoying the water. Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver, helped spread the word that the water in this area is now off limits.

"We were kind of forewarned that some of the beaches may be closed because of contaminants in the harbor," Minnesota resident Pam Gordon Evens said. "We're moving on down the shore and let them go up there."

Nathan Evens and Becky Anderson had been enjoying a swim until their moms pulled them out. They wanted to know what kind of problem was in the water, and you can imagine their shock at finding out that the water was possibly polluted with raw sewage.

"They're out here having a good time, and it's unfortunate we have to let them know that for some reason the pollutant levels in the sound are slightly elevated and that their day at the beach may be somewhat hampered," Weaver said.

One block away from the beach, work crews from ECO-resources check the sewage lines for possible problems.

"There possibly could be a back-up, and one of the manholes might not be draining like it should. But like I said, we haven't found any problems so far," Tracey Forehand with ECO Resources said.

Back on the beach, vacationing families make plans to move elsewhere. Visitors are heeding the warning signs.

"We're going to go down to Gulfport and throw the kids in the shower!" Minnesota resident Cheryl Anderson said.

Closed sections of beach won't re open until two daily water tests, come back clean.

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