RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- The Virginia Department of Health is closing the state's portions of the Chesapeake Bay to shellfish harvesting due to floodwaters caused by tidal flooding and excessive rainfall.
The agency on Monday said the emergency closure also includes the inner portion of Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Officials say heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sandy has caused extensive flooding and that shellfish from those areas is currently unacceptable for consumption because of potential microbiological and chemical pollution hazards.
The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or other fish. The agency says eating shellfish from the closed areas could lead to illness.