- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Health says about 20 miles of the James River that was closed to shellfish harvesting has reopened.

Parts of the river were closed because heavy rainfall and tidal flooding may have washed animal waste and human sewage into tidal waters from upland areas. The area still closed includes Ragged Island Creek, Chuckatuck Creek and the Nansemond River. Health officials say consuming shellfish from closed areas could cause gastrointestinal illnesses.

The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters, clams and scallops, but not crabs or fin fish.

The department said Thursday staff will continue to assess the situation throughout the region and may revise the closure.

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