National

Jan 11, 2010 7:47 AM by Associated Press

Even fish can't escape Sunshine State's cold

Freakish cold weather continued to grip the South, with snow flurries spotted around Orlando and a record low set for Miami, and forecasters said Sunday that more of the same was expected.

About 100,000 tropical fish being raised on a fish farm in South Florida couldn't bear the cold. Michael Breen, 43, who owns Breen Acres Aquatics in the small town of Loxahatchee Groves just north of Miami, said temperatures dropped below 30 degrees overnight, leaving ice on his 76 ponds.

The ponds should be green because of algae bloom that feeds baby fish, he said.

"But all the ponds are crystal clear and fish are laying on the bottom. What we see on the surface died two days ago," he said, referring to the dead fish found floating Sunday morning.

Breen estimated he lost $535,000 in business because of the cold.

Breen said his Florida town, which raises everything from tropical birds and fish to organic produce and palm trees, was holding on to the little that was left from the cold.

"Everybody is just wiped out. It's that bad," he said.

 

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