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Snow Hill still dealing with impacts of silo fire

Though officials maintain air quality is not in unhealthy levels, Snow Hill residents are still experiencing impacts from a simmering grain bin fire that broke out nearly two weeks ago.

Silo-Snow Hill

A feed mill at the Tyson Foods plant in Snow Hill caught fire two weak go and continues to burn.
File photo

By Steve Green, Executive Editor

Snow Hill residents continue to experience impacts from a simmering grain bin fire. 

Though officials maintain air quality is not in unhealthy levels, residents of the county seat report a persistent odor within the town and last weekend a loud sound was heard from the feed mill. 

Nearly two weeks ago, Tyson Foods confirmed crews were maintaining a fire inside a silo containing corn. The facility has been closed to the public and roped off for the last two weeks. 

Last Saturday around 4 p.m., a news release from the county reported Snow Hill residents likely heard a “loud pop” and noticed steam emanating from the ton of the grain bin 

“During firefighting operations at the grain bin fire, pressure from steam and combustion gases was released through sealed roof vents. The tarps that had been used to seal the vents inflated, popped, and broke free,” the county’s news release stated.” With the exception of one piece of lightweight tarp material that was carried by the wind, all debris from the event was contained within the established safety zone on-site. Emergency personnel from Worcester County and Snow Hill Fire Department were on-scene when this event occurred.”

Officials acknowledged the “painstakingly slow and ongoing process being conducted by Tyson officials with support from the fire department and county staff.” Officials reported crews were removing smoking piles of corn from the structure to reduce smoke in the town. 

In a statement released Monday, Tyson wrote, “We are continuing to monitor a fire inside a silo at our Snow Hill, Maryland feed mill. During our efforts to safely extinguish the fire and remove corn from the silo, a minor explosion occurred. No one was injured. We are working closely with the local fire department and an on-site grain recovery team to ensure the safety of the community and to address the issue. Those in the area may continue to notice an odor coming from the facility while we work to safely remove all grain.”

This story appears in the May 30, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.