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Oil hitting Mississippi beaches by the ton

BILOXI — Out of curiosity, James and Cathy Adams drove 380 miles from Pontotoc to see the oil coming ashore in Harrison County.

At the water's edge behind Snapper's Seafood Restaurant, Cathy Adams peeled a pancake of oily material from the beach and held it in her hands. It was like soft caramel, she said.

"This is the first tar balls we've seen," she said.

The Adamses are saddened to find the deposits along what should be clean, white sand.

"It's just ruined," she said. "This is one of the best vacation places Mississippi has."

Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team workers scoured the beaches in Harrison County, scooping more than a ton of contaminated sand mixed with tar patties, mats and balls into clear-plastic garbage bags.

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