Ben Raines/Press-Register / The Press-Register

Scientific testing has confirmed a link between oil from the massive BP spill and tar found on Alabama beaches after Hurricane Isaac. Auburn University researcher Joel Hayworth said Tuesday a chemical analysis showed that tar balls collected after Isaac were associated with the type of oil spilled after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010. Auburn researchers collected about 15 pounds of tar balls after the storm, and officials from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach picked up still more.

Alabama's beach communities are getting ready for the upcoming July 4 holiday now that Tropical Storm Debby is bearing down on Florida.

Surf conditions already have improved enough for the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to reopen coastal waters to tourists.

Forecasters say waves should become calmer as the storm moves slowly along a line that the National Hurricane Center says will take Debby into the Florida peninsula.