RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia health officials have closed a portion of the Rappahannock River to shellfish harvesting due to flooding.
Officials say the emergency closure announced Thursday runs through May 15. The area may be reopened earlier if water quality monitoring results indicate that the area is no longer unsafe.
The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.
Heavy rainfall in a portion of the western Virginia with the ensuing runoff may have washed animal waste and human sewage into the rivers.
Officials say that due to potential microbiological and chemical pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption.