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Gulf oil spill closes Louisiana beach (13 images)

GRAND ISLE, La., May 22 (UPI) -- The mayor of Grand Isle, the only inhabited island on Louisiana's Gulf Coast, closed the beach to the public Friday after oil from the BP spill washed ashore.

Mayor David Camardelle closed the 8-mile-long island's beach to its 1,500 residents and the thousands more tourists who normally flock to the vacation spot to fish and swim, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

Lisa Rhobus, who runs the Cajun Holiday Motel, told the Herald all her rooms were booked before the disaster, but now every reservation has been canceled.

"The only paying people I have at Cajun Holiday are workers helping with the cleanup. This could just about kill Grand Isle," Rhobus said.

A giant oil slick 7 miles from Grand Isle was spotted from helicopters Friday.

"It's coming our way. All that oil you're seeing on Grand Isle beach now -- that's nothing compared to what's coming," one deputy sheriff told the Herald.

Oil collects in a cove on Elmer's Island, Louisiana. The oil washed over booms seen in the background designed to protect the beaches from crude oil gushing from the sunken BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Oil continues to leak from the ruptured well some 5000 feet from the surface. UPI/A.J. Sisco
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Soaked in oil, a seabird lies dead in the surf on Elmer's Island, Louisiana, May 21, 2010. Oil began washing up on the beaches and marshes of Southern Louisiana after the explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig a month ago. UPI/A.J. Sisco
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Thick crude oil drips from a rake on Elmer's Island, Louisiana, May 21, 2010. Workers began scraping the beaches after oil from the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig began to wash up on the sand. UPI/A.J. Sisco
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Rontrell Robertson of Houma, Louisiana, holds a rake dripping with thick crude oil scraped from the beach of Grand Isle, Louisiana, May 22, 2010. Oil has begun to wash up on South Louisiana beaches from the sunken BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which is gushing hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico every day. UPI/A.J. Sisco..
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A pool of oil makes patterns on the beach of Grand Isle, Louisiana, May 21, 2010. Crude oil from the sunken BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig has begun to wash up on the marshes and beaches of South Louisiana. UPI/A.J. Sisco
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Oil washes ashore at Grand Isle Louisiana from the sunken BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig
Cleanup workers bag oil-contaminated sand on Elmer's Island, Louisiana, after crude from the Deepwater Horizon rig began washing ashore May 21, 2010. The BP well exploded and has been gushing thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico daily. UPI/A.J. Sisco
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Oil washes ashore at Grand Isle Louisiana from the sunken BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig
A pool of oil collects on the beach of Elmer's Island, Louisiana, May 21, 2010. Crude oil from the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig has begun to wash up on the marshes and beaches of South Louisiana. UPI/A.J. Sisco
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