Florida Declares Emergency as Cold Weather Threatens Crops

Florida declared a state of emergency because of the threat of damage to crops from cold weather.

Temperatures in central and northern Florida could fall as low as 26 degrees Fahrenheit tonight, Bloomberg News reported.

"The coldest night is actually tonight," said Jason Nicholls, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather. "There could be light damage" to oranges, he said. "The bigger problem will be for vegetables and strawberries."

Florida is expected to produce 143 million boxes of oranges in the harvest that started in October and will run into July. In October, the crop was estimated at 146 million boxes.

The destruction of crops threatens Florida with a "major disaster," Gov. Charlie Crist said in a statement. Some areas may be subject to freezes through Dec. 15.

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