Tallahassee, FL - South Palm Beach Police Chief Roger Crane took a break from fighting crime to visit the state capitol in Tallahassee. He was greeted by ice and snow. He can’t get away from the weather fast enough.
“Next week… going to Key West so hopefully it will be a lot warmer there,” said Crane.
Over the weekend people in the Panhandle captured images of snow on their cell phone cameras. People waking up in Tallahassee Tuesday morning were greeted by temperatures in the teens. The cold spell is stretching all the way into Central and South Florida, where farmers are fighting to save their crops.
A hard freeze in the middle of the month, combined with this recent cold snap, has caused 114 million dollars in crop damage. Nearly 4-thousand workers have lost their job or had to postpone work. The total economic impact in Florida is more than 270 million dollars.
Produce prices are also on the rise. Orange Juice is at a three and a half year high. Sarah Criser, with the Florida Department of Agriculture, says while consumers will likely pay more, the freeze is putting farmers in a real financial bind.
“For some of us it’s the food we put on the table, for others it’s there livelihood, so we are assessing those numbers,” said Criser.
As the state crunches the numbers, the damage piles up. It will likely be weeks before anyone can put an exact price tag on the freeze. Some of the crops hit hardest include eggplants and peppers; neither vegetable has been shipped from Florida in more than a week.