Sewage leak closes Biloxi beaches

BILOXI, MS (WVUE) - Seabirds are all you'll find along certain stretches of Biloxi beach, and at the fishing docks nearby, Cleophus Jackson from Gulfport is one of the few anglers out casting his line.

"You come out here Monday through Saturday, you have a lot of people along here and along the backside," said Jackson as he gestures to the empty docks. "A lot of fishermen usually."

The beach, from Beauvoir Road to Sadler Beach Drive, has been sitting empty since the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality called for it to be closed temporarily. A lift station nearby lost power, and the department is worried about sewage leaking into the water. Another stretch of beach, from Espy Avenue to Hayden Avenue near Pass Christian, is closed for the same reason.

"It's just a concern if somebody could become ill because of a bacteria pollution," said Robbie Wilbur, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. "There could be infection because of a open cut or sore - you might get an infection."

The MDEQ is asking people not to swim or eat seafood caught near the area, and it's testing the waters over the next few days to decide exactly when the advisory can be lifted.

Jackson says he's just fishing for fun today, but he hopes the issue will be resolved soon.

"Regardless of how much you want to keep that fish. If it's going to affect your health, then yeah, absolutely, you throw it back," he says.

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