CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/28/gulf.oil.disaster/t1larg.jpg caption="Mississippi officials report that oily tar balls have started washing up on their mainland shores" width=300 height=169]
Mississippi officials report that oily tar balls have started washing up on their mainland shores for the first time more than two months after the Gulf oil disaster began.
"It has hit our shores," Pascagoula, Mississippi, Mayor Robbie Maxwell said, adding that tar balls appeared on a nearby stretch of beach Sunday afternoon.
"This is what we've been expecting. We had hoped and prayed we would somehow miss this, but it's hit us now," Maxwell said. "The good news is that for the last five or six weeks, we've been preparing to attack it when it hit our shores, and that's exactly what we've done."
A 23-person crew was out on the beach Sunday afternoon, collecting tar balls, he said.
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