Molasses Flood, No Way

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We were watching American Chopper last night as a last resort. We leave all options open when regular tv doesn’t leave us any choices. On top of which, we rather enjoy the goofy guys on American Chopper. Last night they had modified a couple of scooters and were going to ride them to Boston, Massachusetts. During their travels they stopped here and there along the way and one spot was to ride the land/water Ducks. The tour guide was talking about various points of interest and mentioned the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. We laughed and then I grabbed the laptop and did a search.


The day had been warmer than usual for winter, sending temperatures climbing and spirits rising. On January 15, 1919 a large wall of molasses would burst from its container on the high north end of Boston and send a flood of molasses hurtling southward into the city. The container held as much as 2,300,000 gallons of the sticky goo and would create a rushing wall going 35 mph and as tall as 15 feet high. Twenty-one people would die that day, crushed and asphyxiated under the moving mass. It trapped horses and family pets as they struggled to free themselves and claimed their lives too.


Clean up would take more than 87,000 man hours and claims are that the harbor was brown until spring. I can only imagine the mess it would be once the temperatures dropped back to the normal cold ones the north tends to have in January. It would be a lot like digging through rock.


Urban legend has it that on a warm summer day you can still smell the molasses in the area.


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