Cold Snap Threatening Florida’s Citrus Crop

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The bitter blast that’s sweeping the country is hitting close to home.

This week of frigid weather in central and northern Florida could be a major problem for the state’s valuable citrus crop which was severely damaged during Hurricane Irma. Citrus groves are gathering ice.

Forecasters say a second shot of arctic air is on its way in, meaning much of the nation will remain in a deep freeze throughout the week. Even in places accustomed to cold, these extremes are out of the norm.

“All of the cars are stopped and someone is swerving across my lane or traffic and I hit the breaks and hook right into the back of a semi,” said Cory Zeiner in Rochester, New York.

In upstate New York, a 75 car pileup left at least one person dead. In all, so far at least 11 deaths have been blamed on the cold weather.

Firefighters and paramedics across the country are dealing with equipment issues due to the intense cold. As soon as it gets wet, it freezes up.

But for all of the danger and headaches this massive cold snap is causing – there are those who are finding the fun and beauty in it.

Teens in Louisville, Kentucky, a city best known for the baseball bats it produces, are playing pond hockey.

“Growing up in Louisville, I’ve never done this personally before,” said one teen hitting the ice. “I came out eight this morning, and it was -1 degrees. It’s just incredible to be out here.”

Ironically, one of the few places that’s relatively balmy is Anchorage, Alaska, where skaters were in t-shirts. Temperatures Tuesday were in the 40s, about twice as warm as normal. Though Alaska is expected to cool down quite a bit today, the relatively high temps aren’t terribly out of the norm lately. The last three years rank among the top four warmest years on record in the state.