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Don't spend your Thanksgiving weekend at the beach

November 26, 2008 |  1:20 pm

During this drought period, we need all the rain we can get. But one of the major drawbacks of this wet weather is what it does to our beaches. L.A. health officials are warning people to avoid the beaches because of the downstream trash that is collecting there. From the L.A. County Health Department:

Long beach Because of current rainfall, the county health officer is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to be careful of swimming, surfing and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers. Bacteria, debris, trash and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to enter ocean waters though these outlets.

“Fortunately, discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers only comprises a small portion of the beach and, therefore, anybody who wants to go to the beach will be able to enjoy their outing,” said Jonathan E. Fielding,  public health director and health officer. “We do advise swimmers and surfers to stay away from the storm drains, creeks and rivers as there is the possibility that bacteria or chemicals from debris and trash may contaminate the water near and around these areas, and some individuals may become ill.”

Areas of the beach apart from discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers are exempted from this advisory. This advisory will be in effect until at least Sunday, November 30th, at 7:00 a.m. This advisory may be extended depending on further rainfall.

Latest National Weather Service forecast still says Thanksgiving will be mostly dry.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Long Beach after storm. Lori Shepler/Los Angeles Times.