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Semolina snowfall for Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 20:14 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:54 22 October 2010

Two tonnes of semolina fell on Yarmouth in a freak accident. A silo at Pasta Foods on Pasteur Road overfilled and blasted the grain into the air, covering the town in a white film of semolina flour.

Two tonnes of semolina fell on Yarmouth in a freak accident.

A silo at Pasta Foods on Pasteur Road overfilled and blasted the grain into the air, covering the town in a white film of semolina flour. But that was just the start of the trouble for Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

At 9am council workers began trying to wash the semolina off the pavements, but rather than clean it away the water simply turned it into the sticky dessert.

Faced with footways “like an ice rink” the council then had to close of pedestrian access to the Haven Bridge and the roads around Hall Quay, finally bringing in industrial cleaners to get rid of the mess.

Head of environmental health for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, John Hemsworth said: “Everywhere was just white, even the grass was white.

“We had 10 to 15 people trying to clear it up, but as soon as it got wet it became more of a problem. First it got sticky, then slippy and then it was dangerous for people to walk on, so we had to close off the pavements.

“Then we had to get permission from the Environment Agency to put it in the river, then permission from Anglian Water to put it into the drains. It was all very complicated.”

Now safely cleared off Yarmouth's streets, the grain could be causing Anglian Water a headache.

Mr Hemsworth explained: “Semolina uses lots of oxygen, and sewerage works use lots of oxygen, so Anglian Water will have to carry out some special measures to make sure the treatment works don't break down when the semolina hits it, which will be around lunchtime on Friday.”

Pasta Foods technical services director David Emerson said: “It appears one of the silos overfilled and the powder burst out under pressure. The silo was shut down almost immediately by the technician on duty but unfortunately with it being so windy in the early hours of Thursday morning, the dust blew across the bridge causing the roads to be covered.”


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