Miami Beaches Reopen

       MIAMI-DADE COUNTY health officials said all the affected areas except for a 40-block stretch on Miami Beach were now open as normal after getting safe results from water tests on Thursday.

       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.
       Miami, a city of 2 million people, is a thriving tourist destination that draws some 9.7 million overnight visitors a year, and prides itself on its clean beaches. Authorities had worried that the sewage spill could foul people’s plans for beach parties during the weekend ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

       More than 20 miles of beaches were closed for swimming and fishing immediately after a construction company building boatlifts at a marina on Miami Beach accidentally punctured a large underground sewage drain June 20. Millions of gallons of untreated sewage went spilling into Biscayne Bay. The damaged pipeline runs under Biscayne Bay to a treatment plant on Virginia Key.
       Pending repairs, which are not yet finished, city water authorities shut the broken pipeline and diverted sewage from Miami Beach and adjoining areas to an old pipe that is now taking untreated waste two miles out into the ocean.