Norfolk County Council has been left red-faced after a mix-up saw a 'gleeful' tweet about not gritting the roads sent out – just hours before a spate of car crashes across the area.
The council responded to a question with a rhyming tweet, proclaiming: "The sun has got its hat on, the weather's mild and bright, the sun has got its hat on and there's no gritting tonight."
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But the attempt at humour plummeted as fast as the temperature did, and road conditions were soon described as 'atrocious' – with the local police forced to issue an icy roads alert.
By 9:30am the following morning, the force had received 37 reports of crashes on the icy roads. Currently, none of these appear to have resulted in serious injury, but the council was forced to apologise.
Blaming its own forecasting service, the council said on Twitter: "The weather forecast service we buy in suggested road temperatures in Norfolk wouldn't dip below freezing last night.
"On this occasion we unfortunately didn't have the information needed to send gritters out."
Locals were furious, commenting on the council's Twitter with their complaints. One local said: "Looking at the roads & your previous tweet there was no gritting done last night? The A149 is atrocious!"
Another suffered serious misfortune, commenting: "I had a crash this morning because you didn't grit the roads. I slid on black ice and now I have no car for about a week because of damages. Just wondering if you are going to pay for the damage?"