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Cold Snap Sends Shivers Through South Beach

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) - At sunrise on Miami Beach, the temperature hovered in the low 40s - a far cry from the balmy temps the area is accustomed to.

"It's super cold, oh my goodness," said Yndira Castellanos.

By late morning the mercury had risen on South Beach just a bit and it was just a little easier to tell the difference between visitors and locals. Many locals were all bundled up.

"Freezing, I'm freezing right now," said Castellanos who added she was wearing two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, three t-shirts, and a hat.

"For me, it's like New York right now," said Castellanos.

She may feel like she's in New York but Jeane Kraine is actually from there.

"Look no further, it is so beautiful," said Kraine.

She's here for ten days and can't believe her good luck in missing what she called the "bone cracking' cold in the northeast.

"It's a little bit crisp here but the sun is shining," she said.

Madiha Kahn was bound and determined to have a beach vacation.  She's visiting from Durham, North Carolina.

At just 46 degrees, she was sticking her toes in the sand and playing around on the shoreline.

"It's beautiful, it's amazing. I expect the water to be really cold, but it's not," Kahn said.

South Beach restaurants fired up their outside heaters and it was dining as usual Thursday morning. People were in all sorts of attire, from the bundled up to the barely covered.

CBS4's Rielle Creighton caught up with Vladimir Kostaev as he was jogging in a short-sleeve polo shirt and shorts. Kostaev, who's visiting from Russia, said it's 10 to 15 degrees below zero back home. He said he wasn't prepared for 40's in Miami.

"It's not so warm," he said.

The homeless are also getting ready for another cold night like Wednesday.

"Wasn't too bad, there wasn't much wind," said Manford Zapernick, who lives on the street. "We survived. We have three more days [of cold]."

Zapernick is grateful that he and the others around him have plenty of blankets.

"We got blessed with them two days ago," he said. "There was a Christian organization that come out and help up and people just out of the kindness of their own heart knowing that it's going to be cold."

And for those who don't want to stay on the street, shelters are opening more space.

The Salvation Army in Fort Lauderdale is expecting a couple hundred to walk in the door Thursday.

"We're maxed out with everywhere we have an available opportunity to place them, in hallways, in classrooms," said Major Keith Biggers with the Salvation Army. "This is normally the TV room for the men that are on the program here; that's transformed into a shelter overnight."

Agriculture interests are also keeping an eye on the sky.

At New River Groves in Davie they're still recovering from Hurricane Irma. They are hoping it doesn't get so cold that it kills fragile new growth on their mango trees.

"It can take all the new growth, tender growth and wipe it out," said Bob Roth with New River Groves. "It would have to start all over again. Which we don't know if the tree can handle two shocks in a row."

Friday will be another cool one but things should be getting back to normal, weather-wise, over the weekend.


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