News In Brief

Cold snap in Texas caused heavy economic damage

The economic loss from a weeklong Arctic blast to the Texas produce and fish industries could surpass $400 million and throw as many as 20,000 farm workers out of work, state officials said Monday.

Texas Gov. Mark White has asked for a presidential disaster declaration to provide emergency aid to four counties. State employment officials worked to begin finding jobs for unemployed farm workers.

In Florida, officials were predicting increases in orange juice prices due to the cold. The Florida Citrus Commission Monday banned for one week shipments of any fresh fruit, to keep damaged fruit off the market and preserve the billion-dollar citrus industry's image.

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