Freeze Damage In Florida May Reach $100 Million

MIAMI Deep Freeze 2010? Ice Week? No one in Florida knows quite what to call the lengthy cold snap that finally eased on Wednesday, but there is little doubt that its economic and social impact will be memorable and significant.

This was not the standard winter chill. For nearly two weeks, the Sunshine State felt like a meat locker with record lows north and south. Economists said the total cost to agriculture alone could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, adding another bruise to a beaten-down economy.

First, we had the credit freeze that caused the housing market to wither, said Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida. Now, while were down, we get another kick from Mother Nature.

A complete assessment of the damage will take weeks, and Florida still appears to have avoided the historical worst like the trees that seemed to explode from frozen sap in the freeze of 1895. But this years arctic blast was the states longest cold stretch in decades, and by all accounts, its toll has been harsh and unpredictable up and down the food chain.

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