Beaches hit with tar balls re­open

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - — Veron­ica Rocha

A four-mile stretch of coast in Long Beach has re­opened af­ter beaches were closed nearly two days ago when a wave of tar balls washed ashore.

Beaches be­tween 1st Place and 72nd Place re­opened at 8 a.m. Fri­day, but not with­out warn­ings. The Long Beach Fire Depart­ment asked beach­go­ers to use pre­cau­tion when walk­ing on the sand and swim­ming.

The depart­ment’s Marine Safety Di­vi­sion will be on the look­out for any new tar globs ap­pear­ing on­shore.

If the gooey, petroleum­based balls should ap­pear, of­fi­cials plan to take the “ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures to lo­cate and re­move the prod­uct,” said fire­fighter/para­medic Jake He­flin, a depart­ment spokesman.

The chunks of oil first ap­peared Wed­nes­day, prompt­ing of­fi­cials to close af­fected beaches im­me­di­ately .

Crews worked through the night to re­move about 55 gal­lons of the sticky prod­uct from beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard col­lected sam­ples for testing to de­ter­mine the source of the tar balls. Testing could take weeks.

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