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Most Miami Area Beaches Reopen

June 29, 2000

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, health officials Thursday reopened most of the beaches closed nine days earlier by a giant sewage spill.

Four miles of beach remained closed. The reopened beaches included popular tourist spots like Miami Beach’s South Beach and the beach at Bal Harbour.

Rebeka Martinez, 24, one of many models who work on South Beach, wasted no time in hitting the water once the ban was lifted.

``I grabbed my flip-flops, my towel and my book and hit the beach,″ she said.

The millions of gallons of sewage that spewed from a ruptured underwater pipe have been swept away by ocean currents, health officials said. Tests show the water is again safe, said Barbara Adkison of the Miami-Dade County Health Department.

The spill occurred June 20 when a contractor drove a concrete piling through the 54-inch sewage pipe while putting in a new pier at Miami Beach Marina.

Initially, 25 miles of beaches were closed.

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