Harmful Algae Bloom Closes Remainder of South Mississippi Beaches

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People and pets are being warned to stay out of the water along the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast as toxic bacteria continue spreading eastward.  The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality started closing some beaches June 22 and on Sunday closed the last two sections in Pascagoula.

The agency has warned that polluted Midwest floodwaters have fed an outbreak of cyanobacterium, popularly known as blue-green algae that can cause rashes, diarrhea and vomiting. It is spreading as water from the Mississippi River pours into the Gulf of Mexico from the opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway.

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The closures refer to water contact and does not prohibit use of the sand portion of a beach. According to National Park Services, the barrier islands remain safe and monitoring will continue. For more information on closures you can visist MDEQ’s Beach Monitoring Program here.

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Payton Malone grew up in the small town of Archer City, Texas before moving to Norman, Oklahoma where he attended the University of Oklahoma. During his time at OU he interned as a meteorologist at KOCO in Oklahoma City where he experienced all types of weather ranging from tornadoes, flooding and winter storms. Payton received his Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Minor in Meteorology. Payton's interest in weather began at the very young age of six after a local broadcast meteorologist talked to his class about preparing for severe weather. That along with growing up in the middle of Tornado Alley, Payton has been hooked to the weather ever since. He is excited to move to the Gulf Coast and start a new adventure away from the plains. He loves venturing around the area finding new coffee shops, local places to eat, and he looks forward to being involved in the communities on the Mississippi coast. You can follow Payton on social media: Facebook: @paytonmalonewx Twitter: @paytonmalonewx Instagram: @paytoncmalone