Hancock County (MS) officials are scrambling to deal with thousands of dead nutria that washed ashore on beaches during Hurricane Isaac. The dead swamp rats have started to stink and officials say that could cause a health and environmental hazard to people. "They're in the tide and just floating in and they're probably going to continue coming in over the next several days," said Waveland Mayor David Garcia. "There's no telling how many thousands we're going to have." Officials with the Department of Environmental Quality say so far they've counted more than 5,000 dead nutria rats on Hancock County beaches, but they say that number could top 10,000 before they all finish washing ashore.
Apparently this is a common problem following hurricanes along the gulf coast, as other areas in Isaac's path are also dealing with thousands of dead nutria, some even going so far as requiring front-end loaders to gather them up. Who knew? I always figured since they were, you know, aquatic, that they could easily ride out such storms, but apparently not? Any gulf coast residents care to elaborate?