Florida picks up tar balls

By Christian Jennings - bio | email 

Panama City Beach, FL (WALB) –  Several miles of beaches are covered with tar balls Wednesday morning in Walton County, Florida.

Waves washed the oil on shore Tuesday around lunchtime and BP contractors worked until dusk cleaning up the mess. They'll pick up where they left off later today.

And it's only going to get worse from here on out as the oil slick moves farther east on Florida's coastline.

When the winds shifted Tuesday afternoon at Grayton Beach, in came the tar balls, some the size of a hand; others no larger than a penny.

As soon as the tar floated in, hundreds of BP contractors hit the beach with shovels, bags and gloves, scooping up what they could as quickly as possible.

They clean it up, a wave comes in and there's more. Officials in Walton county say this is the worst they've seen it.

Julia Wilson stepped on a few when she took dip in the water. "My brothers came out and they were picking them up - they feel like glue," she said.

They covered the bottom of my feet too - and it took a few good scrubs to clean off. "It's pretty disgusting it's sad. It's ruining vacations but worse it's hurting the livelihood of so many people."

A future that has beach communities overwhelmed with cleanup, frustration and uncertainty.

BP crews are supposed to be out on the beaches as soon as the sun rises to continue the clean up.

People in Walton county say the tar balls covered about 15 miles of their beaches yesterday and there's a good chance it will spread to Panama City Beach at some point this week.

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