Snow fell in Okeechobee Wednesday morning, surprising hundreds of residents who found their cars covered with it between the hours of 4 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
The week's cold snap may pose a serious threat to area citrus crops, with brisk winds and just below freezing temperatures whipping down over the county from north Florida.
Early morning temperatures this week are expected to continue cold and may drop even more. Wednesday night's low reading by the U. S. Forestry Service was 28 degrees.
Okeechobee residents from Basinger to Treasure Island contacted early Wednesday morning expressed their reaction to the snowfall. "Never in 62 years - this is the first time I ever heard of it." - Ellis Merserve.
"It's beautiful." - Mrs. Bobby Henderson.
"We put snowballs in the freezer. I figured expected to continue cold and may drop even no body would believe us." - Mary Baker.
Parts of Okeechobee were without electricity Wednesday morning as Florida Power & Light Company struggled with an unusually heavy demand to the sudden cold and mechanical failure at two of their power plants.
While all efforts are underway to make the necessary repairs at the two stricken plants, electricity was being shut off in successive areas of the city. The plan was to leave each area without power for a very short time so that equipment would not be ruined and losses would not be sustained by customers of the Public Utility.
The grid system to which Okeechobee belongs is of course being called into play to help with the overload but a failure to use the "skipping" system would have brought about an overload on the entire system and would have eventually affected other cities.
Announcement was made by Marvin Arrants of the Power Co. Within minutes of the Emergency period Arrants issued a press release. The official also called the local radio station and asked that the public be asked to leave off as many appliances as possible. The Turkey Point Nuclear Unit No. 3 which has just completed refueling is being returned to service and should help meet the demand for power during the day, Arrants noted.
The new St. Lucie Nuclear and Manatee Oil Plants are running at optimum production capacities.