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Storms Cause Virginia Officials To Shut Down Shellfish Harvesting

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Recent storms moving through Virginia are causing sanitation problems, and in turn forcing state health officials to shut down shellfish harvesting in parts of the York River.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea have caused about 175,000 gallons of rainwater and sewage to overflow into the Mattaponi River, which is a tributary of the York River, in West Point, east of Richmond.

The Virginia Department of Health says the upper York will be closed for shellfish harvesting until June 30. The closure affects bivalve mollusks such as oysters and clams. It doesn't affect crabs or fin fish.

Officials warn there's a risk of gastro-intestinal illnesses if shellfish taken from the upper York River are eaten.

The Division of Shellfish Sanitation is continuing to monitor the situation, to determine whether harvesting can resume before the end of the month.

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