Fla. Growers Fight Record Cold

State of emergency as temperatures plummet
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 8:31 AM CST
Hans Katros, owner of Katros Groves, checks the irrigation system on a pumello citrus tree on his grove in Haines City, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008. Florida citrus growers are preparing for freezing...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Florida shivered last night  last night as a cold snap set new lows—35 degrees in Ft. Lauderdale—and threatened serious damage to crops. Farmers spent the night in the fields, spraying strawberries and oranges with water to create a protective glaze of ice. In  Plant City, dubbed the winter strawberry capital of the world, temperatures hit freezing at midnight, and dropped to 28 by 2:30am.

Meanwhile, local homeless shelters struggled to prepare to house hundreds of people beyond their normal capacity, and the governor has declared a state of emergency. Temperatures should return to the 60s and 70s later today.