Winter storm damages trees, crops and cancels plans

January Weather

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The burst of winter weather is leaving a path of damage as it moves through the Coachella Valley.  Freezing overnight temperatures have many farmers worried about the consequences of the storm. 

Gusty winds shook crops in the east valley as Adrian Zendejas, general manager of Desert Mist Farms, assessed the damage and prepared his fields for a night of freezing temperatures.  "First of all, the wind that we're getting now, it sucks the moisture out of the plant, and when the cold weather comes in, it really dings the crop," said Zendejas.

In an effort to prevent their plants from drying out, some farmers place bags over their crops to keep the cold out, and the moisture in.  It's a far cry from the warm start to a 2013 that brought farmers an early season. "It's really going to slow down the growth process, our crops will be anywhere from seven to fourteen days behind schedule so there's going to be a gap there," said Zendejas.

The gap puts a strain on produce like artichokes, bell peppers, and lettuce from making it to our grocery stores.  That's where the cold could hit your wallet.  "There's going to be less product out there, so there's going to be a higher demand and probably an increase in the prices," said Zendejas.

The winter weather also took its toll on some trees in the valley.  Strong winds knocked this tree onto a car at the Indio courthouse. No one was injured, but it served as a reminder of how quickly things can change.

"I never thought anything of my car being parked over here, if I had I would have come and got it I guess," said Roy Housden, the owner of the car.  "But I mean what can I say Mother Nature took over." 

Mother Nature also got in the way of more than one thousand RV enthusiasts, like Joyce Haupt. The wind forced them to cancel a parade scheduled to kick off their annual conference in Indio.  "Well, today was different from the rest of them, because it was so windy," said Haupt. "We were supposed to have a big parade today, but we had to cancel it until Saturday."

Despite the inclement weather, Haupt chose to find the silver living in the clouds. "You know, you have to roll with the punches, when you're RV'ers, you run into that all the time, you can't second guess it."

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • On this day: October 23
    IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

    On this day: October 23

    The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut are hit by a truck bomb, Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination is rejected, and the iPod is introduced, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • World's most empathetic countries
    Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    World's most empathetic countries

    Michigan State University has put together a list of the most empathetic countries. Researchers interviewed more than 100,000 adults from 63 countries and found "higher empathy countries also have higher levels of collectivism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, self-esteem, emotionality, subjective well-being, and prosocial behavior." Find out the top 10 countries that made the list.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 22
    Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

    On this day: October 22

    The first parachute jump takes place, "Pretty Boy" Floyd is gunned down, football meets television, and The Supremes top the charts, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • Everything you wanted to know about the Electoral College
    William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

    Everything you wanted to know about the Electoral College

    The person ahead in the popular vote might not actually win the presidency. Why? The Electoral College takes the final vote -- not us.

    Read More »
  • Best Clinton, Trump lines from Alfred E. Smith dinner

    Best Clinton, Trump lines from Alfred E. Smith dinner

      Less than a day after their heated final presidential debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton traded shots at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner. Here's a look at the most memorable lines from the event.

    Read More »