What is Louisiana’s loss is also its gain.
The same cannot be said in Mississippi.
Mississippi is losing out after 20,000 dead swamp rats from Louisiana washed up on its beaches following Hurricane Isaac.
The rats are actually a South American rodent called nutria, WLOX reported.
“If you're out here, it’s a terrible smell,” Waveland, Mississippi Mayor David Garcia told WLOX. “As this heat continues, they’re just going to blow up and pop, making it even more of a health hazard.”
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Workers are heading to the beaches with pitchforks and shovels to tackle the problem, Reuters reported.
The areas hardest hit are hoping to have everything restored by the time a popular tourist event arrives.
Counties have applied to FEMA for funding and trained experts.
“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,” county representative Kim Savant told Reuters.
Isaac also killed hogs, deer, coyotes, snakes and rabbits before depositing them in Mississippi.
Harrison County has dumped 16 tons of dead rats at the landfill since Saturday, Reuters said.
NBC said Isaac’s destruction has at least one benefit when it comes to the rats.
In invasive species introduced by trappers in the 1930s, nutria flourished into the millions as fur prices tanked 30 years ago.
Now, the rodents are “wreaking ecological havoc on native wetland vegetation and contributing to coastal erosion problems,” NBC said.
The clean-up efforts are expected to take days as more rats continue to wash up on shores.
It’s been so unpleasant, at least six local workers asked to clean the beaches have quit, the Sun Herald said.
WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi
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