Weather Issues Affect Many and Help Some

December 7, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Some Valley residents are retreating from the cold, wet weather while some are embracing it.This weather system has already cancelled a parade in Tulare, put citrus farmers on the defensive against frost and forced many homeless residents to seek warmer conditions.

Ezra Ellis, Jr. is no stranger to the streets. This out of work metalist knows when frost is forming on cars he needs to get some place warm or else.

Ellis: "You're constantly getting sick. colds, flu."

Ellis and more than a half dozen other people have found comfort at this warming center in Frank H. Ball gymnasium.

In Visalia the Men's Rescue Mission is reaching capacity. But organizers said it's been that way for almost a month.

Joe Dominguez said, "It's been real cold out here. And it's been a blessing to be in there. I mean it's been real cold, wake up wet and cold."

The threat of wet and cold conditions was enough for Tulare's chamber of commerce to cancel its annual holiday parade hours before people showed up to attend.

"I've never heard it being cancelled. it's a first to me. Unfortunately a lot of people are going to miss out because it's a great parade," said resident Andrew Balderas.

The stream rising from an orange grove is a good thing for grower Keith Nilmeier. "It brings the color in and the sugar in very quick on the citrus," he said.

However when the temperature reaches 28 degrees or cooler for an extended period of time Nilmeier worries. That's why he has these crates of peach pits to burn which act like a warming blanket to his groves.

Nilmeier said, "Somewhere between 10 and midnight we'll be starting our wind machines and probably do a few pits underneath the wind machines."

Nilmeier has only used his wind machines once this season. Warming centers in Fresno open when the temperature is forecast to drop below 36 degrees.


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