Beaches hit with tar balls reopen
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.