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Western U.S. Hit By Cold And Ice

January 13, 2007

United Press International

LOS ANGELES, Jan 13, 2007 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Southern California citrus growers struggled to save crops and Midwesterners skidded on icy highways as low temperatures hit much of the West.

The National Weather Service posted a freeze warning for prime agricultural areas in California.

For many residents, the warning was an unusual inconvenience -- a signal to move potted plants inside and watch out for pets, the Los Angeles Times reported. But for farmers, for the homeless and for those without adequate heat, especially the elderly, the freeze could be a matter of life and death or economic survival.

Alex Teague, president of Limoneira, a major lemon producer, and a fifth-generation farmer, said this year's crop could be a write-off if the low temperatures last long enough.

"If you are at 25 degrees longer than four or five hours, you can mainly try to protect the tree so it will bloom again next year," he said.

In Colorado, ranchers already hit by several major winter storms were trying to protect cattle from single-digit temperatures, the Rocky Mountain News said. In Missouri, the Kansas City Star reported at least three people have been killed in car crashes linked to icy roads.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International.

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