Rain comes too late for some citrus crops
Weekend rain comes too late for some citrus growers. Video by fox4now.comvideo
CAPE CORAL - This weekend's storm dumped about an inch of rain in some spots, blowing 40 mph winds.
While the rain came as relief to some, breaking a dry spell, for some it was too little too late.
"The grass isn't even growing look how brown it is out here," said Bob Johnson, who has been growing oranges for more than 30 years at U-Pick Citrus. "What little bit of rain we got last night was just too late. We need a lot more rain in here."
Johnson says dry conditions combined with a winter freeze is bruising his business.
"It's a formula for what?'," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"A disaster," said Johnson.
"It's been so darn dry we've had to water, water, water," he said, "But we're just not getting enough."
A third of Johnson's crops were lost due to the dry conditions, he said. Walking around his farm black, rotting oranges blanketing the ground.
"When you're growing stuff," said Johnson, "you're at the mercy of Mother Nature."
Johnson says he, and other growers, lost a lot of their Valencia crop which is used to make orange juice.
Because so much of the crop was destroyed, he says that could mean higher prices at the grocery store.
"It's hard to know the futures of the orange juice, it's like gas futures," he said. "I would say that it's not going to go down."
This weekend's storm dumped about an inch of rain in some spots, blowing 40 mph winds. A Fox 4 viewer snapped a photo of waves crashing over the Sanibel Causeway.
"These are the best days," said Jesse Willert, who went sailing at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Sunday. "[The waves are] faster, scarier, more fun."
The National Weather Service issued a high surf and rip-current advisory Sunday that will stay in effect until Monday at 8 p.m.. But not everyone was aware of potential dangers.
"The wind is actually pretty strong," said Mario Pagan, who went swimming with his 4-year-old son Geno. "It's knocking him down."
"It wasn't too bad the waves were maybe a foot or two high," he said. "Nothing too dangerous for him."