Tar balls wash up on South Padre Island

They are small, black thin strips of tar, no bigger than a fist, and they washed up on shore on Friday, when Ruben Flores was spending time with his family at South Padre Island.

"I just thought to myself, they're finally here," he said.

Though Flores is confident the tar balls come from oil spill at the Gulf, Action 4 News took them to Tony Reisinger, who works for Cameron County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He told Action 4 News these tar balls do not come from the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.

"It TMs probably been out there a lot longer than the deep water horizon's been letting oil out," he said.

Their origin, he believes, are natural breaks on the ocean floor, and that it is common for them to wash up on South Padre Island year round.

Reisinger added that the probabilities of oil from the gulf reaching our shores are extremely unlikely at this time, "The currents in the Gulf of Mexico are not oriented in the direction of South Texas at this point."

However, according to him, that could change once the currents change in the fall, and the spill is not fixed.

For their part, the U.S. Coast Guard told Action 4 News if anyone sees tar balls washing up anywhere along the beach, they should not touch them.

Instead, they should contact the Coast Guard at 956-761-2668 so they can have it tested.