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Freeze Warning Extended As Cold Snap Grips Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Bay Area residents felt biting cold temperatures again on Thursday as a cold snap led to traffic mishaps, airport delays and increased concern over Northern California's citrus crop.

The National Weather Service extended a freeze warning across the Bay Area until Friday at 9 a.m.

There were reports of frozen and even burst pipes in some North Bay valleys with temperatures falling as far as 19 degress in Napa. Thursday the high temperatures were expected in the 40s to low 50s.

KPIX 5 meteorologist Lawrence Karnow said Thursday night will see another round of freezing temperatures, while Friday the clouds will be on the increase with a slight chance of showers by evening.

Along Bay Area roadways Thursday morning icy patches resulted in some crashes and traffic slowdowns but no reports of injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A large patch of black ice slowed traffic at the busy intersection of Ygnacio Valley Road and Oakland Boulevard near the Walnut Creek BART station prompted warnings from police for motorists to drive carefully.

The water on the roadway came from a nearby water main break that occurred earlier Thursday morning, East Bay Municipal Utility District spokeswoman Andrea Pook said.

Caltrans crews were also called this morning to Interstate Highway 280 in San Bruno, where several icy patches were reported between state Highway 92 and the Crystal Springs Road exit, CHP Officer Ron Simmons said.

Icy conditions on the Highway 280 Eugene A. Doran Memorial Bridge in San Mateo caused a solo-vehicle crash, Simmons said.

In Castro Valley, ice on the roadway near Five Canyons Parkway and Fairview Avenue caused one car to spin out, he said.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

In the citrus-rich San Joaquin Valley, temperatures dropped to the low 20s overnight, but it was too early to tell whether there was any crop damage.

California Farm Bureau Federation spokesman Dave Kranz says any damage to mandarin oranges, tangerines and navel oranges may not be known for weeks.

To protect the $2 billion citrus crop, farmers pump water into groves, which warms the ground. Wind machines circulate the warm air rising from the ground.

An industry spokeswoman said valley mandarin farmers spent about $1.7 million overnight on frost protection.

At San Francisco International Airport, several planes were "de-iced" Thursday morning - a rare occurrence at the airport, an airport duty manager said.

SFO duty manager Larry Mares said several airlines had to remove frost that had built up on aircraft. For some airlines, the frost caused brief delays to departing flights, he said.

Temperatures fell into the low 30s at the airport, but by mid-morning the frost issues had melted away.

Mares said the de-icing, which was done as a precautionary measure, is "not something we deal with here" and is more common at other, "cold-weather" airports.

Cold-weather shelters opened in the South Bay for residents to visit during the night to get away from the cold weather, emergency officials said.

Three shelters in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Gilroy have been established and were expected to last through the weekend.

During business hours warming areas have been set up at various public facilities in area cities.

Boccardo Regional Reception Center in San Jose has 50 beds, while the former Sunnyvale National Guard Armory has 125. There are 100 beds available at the Gilroy National Guard Armory.

The San Jose center uses a lottery system to procure a bed, while the armories have a first-come, first-served system.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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