GULFPORT, Miss. — Mississippi environmental regulators have closed the waters of the Mississippi Sound to swimming until water sampling resumes.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality made the announcement Monday following Hurricane Nate.

Spokesman Robbie Wilbur says sampling will resume once debris is removed and samplers can go back into the water.

After that, the department will declare water safe following two daily samples that don’t show high levels of bacteria that might indicate the presence of untreated sewage.

The department says it’s up to local authorities to decide whether people can walk on the beach. Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy says beaches in that county are closed for now.