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Valley growers prepare for round two of freezing temperatures

Damage to crops likely won't be known for weeks
The fight is on and citrus growers across the Valley are bracing for another busy night.

Rodney Radtke says, "A lot of different emotions.  A lot of frustration,  but that's the citrus game."

A game that orange grower Rodney Radtke isn't willing to lose.  He says between wind machines and water to trap heat inside orange coves, about $50,000 was spent Wednesday night to keep 150 acres of crops above freezing temperatures.

Even though the damage won't likely be detected for 3 to 4 weeks, Radtke says so far it seems the hard work may have paid off.

"I'm fairly optimistic that the damage will only be minimal," says Radtke.

But no one is in the clear yet.  Thursday, workers scrambled to pick mandarins ahead of Thursday night's freeze.

Ryan Jacobsen says, "The magic number is somewhere around 28."

Jacobsen, with the Fresno County Farm Bureau, says areas with forecasted lows below that are in the most danger.

"It's some of the more extreme outer lying areas, particularly on the west side."
Meanwhile, Radtke knows it will take another strong fight to get through the wrath of mother nature.

"We're a lot like the Fresno State Bulldogs.  We have to get to 1 and 0 every night.  We can't afford to lose one, so right now we're at 1 and 0.

The last serious freeze was in 2007.  Damage from that totaled $1 billion.
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Fresno, CA

63°F
Clear
  • High: 90°F
  • Low: 55°F
  • Sunrise: 6:20 AM PDT
  • Sunset: 7:35 PM PDT
  • Feels Like: 63°F
  • Wind Chill: 63°F
  • Visibility: 10 mi.
  • Dew Point: 46°
  • Relative Humidity: 54%