Deep Freeze In The South

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Ice coated the statutes on the Florida State University campus, causing some to share their misery via pictures.

Many homeowners found their fountains near frozen while others turned on sprinklers for a winter wonderland effect.

Rural Hamilton County closed its schools and in Tallahassee, bundled up office workers hustled to get out of the cold.

For growers there was a loud sigh of relief.

The Department of Agriculture says the state has, for the most part, dodged a bullet so far with all of the tender plants south of the freeze line.

Simpson Nursery, a 1600-acre nursery east of the Capitol, was sacrificing some plants to save others.

"This was a fairly substantial cold event for us," says Leslie Hudson, General Manager for Simpson Nurseries. "Anything, that when we get down in the teens is a little bit of an issue for us. Anything below 15 degrees in containers is definitely a concern for some of the tender stuff."

For years, Visit Florida has capitalized on bad weather in the North to bring visitors here.

"[Even though it 's colder here, It's the fact that it's so much colder everywhere else?] Well yea, you know, Wisconsin minus 11, so if it's today 65 in Orlando, that's a pretty nice situation for us," says Paul Phipps, Visit Florida Chief Marketing Officer.

The five million dollar winter campaign kicks off next week.


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