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CNN Today

Wintry Weather Hits Even Florida

Aired December 20, 2000 - 1:06 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Here in Atlanta, it was cold -- at least what passes for cold down here: 12 degrees this morning in the city.

Even way down to central Florida dipped below freezing, and that brings us to Gail Paschall-Brown, who is a reporter with CNN affiliate WESH, in Orlando, Florida. She joins us to talk about the cold snap in the so-called sunshine state.

Gail, what passes for a cold snap down there?

GAIL PASCHALL-BROWN, WESH REPORTER: Hey, we got really cold here, record lows, the coldest it's been in about four years. We told folks last night to wrap it up, take the plants, and whatever, and if you didn't do it, the result was some stuff like this -- and that came also from leaving your sprinklers on at night: As you can see, the bushes over here are iced over.

But you know, as far as that cold cup of orange juice you have, right now, the growers are saying that's not too much of a problem: More than 80 percent of the juice fruit is still on the trees. As you can see from the pictures, the ice is heavy laden. Some of that was intentional, some of that was not. Some of the growers covered the base to make sure that their tender crop would be OK.

As I mentioned, more than 80 percent of the juice fruit is still on the trees. The majority of the growers say that they're not -- going to have wait about two weeks to see if the freezing has affected the crop; they don't believe that's the case, at this time.

As far as fresh fruit growers are concerned, they really don't think it got cold enough to ruin the crop.

Again, it's going to get cold tonight -- not quite as cold as it did last night, but you know, for Florida, 27 degrees in Leesburg and 28 degrees in Orlando: That's cold enough for me.

We're live in Florida -- I'm Gail Paschall-Brown, now back to you in the studio.

CHEN: Gail, before you go, here, I mean -- when we talk about cold, I see that you do actually have a coat, which probably a lot of central Floridians don't even have coats. Do you think most of the folks around you are well prepared for this sort of thing, as prepared as you need to be in Florida? PASCHALL-BROWN: You know something, I had to dig this one out -- and you're right: When you come to Florida, you throw away the coats, you throw away the toboggans, and all the gloves. A lot of folks had to dig go back and dig that stuff up, we just did not expect it to happen. I mean, we've got some great meteorologists here, but you know Floridians -- they don't believe in it when you talk about cold weather because we're so used to the warm sunshine and all that Florida has to offer.

CHEN: Yes, yes, we feel really badly for you, Gail.

PASCHALL-BROWN: Yes, I know, I know.

CHEN: Gail Paschall-Brown, with WESH TV, in Orlando, thanks for being with us.

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