Hurricane Isaac sweeps tons of dead rats onto Mississippi beaches

Officials say it will take several days to clear the beach of thousands of dead rats.

Tens of thousands of rats killed by Hurricane Isaac have washed up onto the beaches of Mississippi and created a foul-smelling mess that officials say will take days to clean up.

When the hurricane lifted the tides, the water washed across the marshy areas in Louisiana where the semi-aquatic rats live and forced them to ride the waves into Mississippi until they succumbed to exhaustion and drowned, said David Yarborough, a supervisor for Hancock County on the Gulf Coast.

The tides then deposited their bodies on the Mississippi shoreline, he said.

As of Tuesday, about 16,000 of the rodents have been collected in Hancock County, where a hired contractor’s clean-up efforts are expected to continue for another week, officials said.

In nearby Harrison County, officials decided to carry out the work themselves. Using shovels and pitchforks, workers have removed 16 tons of the dead rats from beaches since Saturday and taken them to a local landfill.

“We have an event called ‘Cruisin’ The Coast’ the second week of October with 30,000 to 40,000 people on the beach, and we didn’t want to wait” to clean up, said Kim Savant, president of that county’s Board of Supervisors.

Although they’re smelly and disgusting, the dead rats pose no health risk to humans, said Brigid Elchos of the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.

Mississippi also dealt with dead rats after Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, but officials said the current situation seems especially bad.

The beaches are closed to the public, but Yarborough said people have come anyway to see the littered beaches. The visitors usually don’t stay long, possibly because the odor is intense on the shore and discernible from up to three miles away, he said.

In addition to the rats, workers also found dead hogs, deer, coyotes, snakes and rabbits on the beaches.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

New Yorkers are nation's unhappiest residents: Study

New Yorkers aren't a happy bunch, at least to a new study released by a nonprofit economic research group.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Movies

From 'La Femme Nikita' to 'Lucy,' a list…

French filmmaker Luc Besson has created a cottage industry of junk cinema. Here are his many unique action heroes, including Liam Neeson and "Lucy"'s Lucy.

Movies

Review: 'Lucy,' with Scarlett Johansson, is smart, stupid…

Luc Besson's "Lucy," in which Scarlett Johansson gains increased control over her brain, is a film about smart and stupid but always enjoyable.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.