Florida Chill Wreaks Havoc for Growers

Icicles cling to oranges Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, in Lakeland, Fla. Farmers spray their crops to help protect them against the cold temperatures. Temperatures in the area dipped into the mid-20's, and farmers are working to salvage millions of dollars' worth of strawberries and other crops. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
After 11 days and nights of cold weather it's finally starting to warm up, but for many growers in Florida, the damage is done and it's being described as significant.

For one 60-acre field of summer squash that would typically bring in $50,000, a night of temperatures in the 20s has reduced its value to nothing, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

It's a scene that is playing out across the state.

Florida provides three-quarters of the country's fresh vegetables this time of year. Already, the price of green beans has more than doubled in two weeks from $21 a bushel to $45. The price of squash is up from $30 a box to $40, reports Cobiella.

The state's citrus crop seems to have fared better but growers won't know the full extent of the damage for weeks.

The 11-day freeze broke records throughout the state. Miami had its coldest morning ever Monday - 36 degrees. That broke a record that went back 82 years. In Key West, the reading of 42 degrees was the second-coldest since 1873. South Florida is usually around 68 degrees this time of year.

It was 14 degrees Monday in Tallahassee, which broke the old record.

The cold weather, which arrived on an arctic front from Canada, led Florida Power and Light to pump out more electricity in the last day than during the hottest days of summer.

Even the animals are bundling up. Miami MetroZoo closed Sunday for the first time ever due to the cold. And manatees were seen huddling together in a Fort Lauderdale canal to keep warm.

Cold temperatures aren't entirely unheard of in Florida, but it's unusual for them to linger this long. Forecasters say this was the 10th consecutive day of lows under 50 degrees in South Florida, just shy of a record of 13 days set in 1940.

The state is supposed to see some gradual warming this week, with temperatures near or above normal by Friday.