CLEVELEYS was left looking like a winter wonderland yesterday – but the dramatic sight did not fill residents with much joy.
Gallons of foam from the sea at Anchorsholme carpeted the whole of Princess Promenade with a thick layer of oily bubbles.
Residents were reluctant to leave their home as the wind whipped up the foam sending it inland in blizzards.
Cars parked on the Promenade were fully blanketed in foam and other motorists made slow progress through the substance.
And dog walkers heading up to Rossall also beat a hasty retreat back down the promenade on spying the strange scene.
Gordon Stanley, a resident from Rossall Promenade, said: “The situation with the foam is horrendous, normally it happens once every few years but it has been like this three times this year.
“It is oil based so it is terrible for your car and stains your clothes and windows, people don’t like to go out of the house in it.
“It’s not just the Promenade, it gets blown inland so bungalows at the back of my house are totally covered too.
“If this is detergent in the water caused by industry or by shipping, it needs to be investigated, it shouldn’t be happening as often as this.”
The Environment Agency are in the process of investigating the foam but believe it may be caused by decomposing algal matter.
A spokeswoman said: “We have taken samples of the foam as obviously if this is caused by any kind of polluting material, we need to know about it.
“Early samples are not showing any trace of detergent so we think it could be the combination of decomposing algal matter churned with the tide and the westerly wind which is causing the foam.
“We know it happens occasionally and can disappear again quite quickly so we will be looking further into what triggers it.”