Bitter cold grips Calif., hiker rescued in forest
LOS ANGELES — Winds up to 50 mph added to California’s big chill misery on Monday as farmers struggle to save their citrus crops from sub-freezing temperatures and residents bundle up in record cold.
Downtown Los Angeles dipped to 35 degrees just before 4 a.m. Monday, breaking the previous record of 36 degrees set on Jan. 14, 2007.
Elsewhere Monday, it was 13 degrees in high desert Lancaster at 6 a.m., 25 degrees in Fresno, 27 in Temecula, 33 in Redondo Beach and Sacramento, 36 in Van Nuys and Palm Springs and 40 in San Francisco.
In Angeles National Forest, where overnight temperatures have been dropping into the 20s, Arcadia hiker Danny Kim, 28, was found Sunday night after surviving 26 hours in the frigid West Fork wilderness. Kim was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
Santa Ana winds have now joined the weeklong cold siege, raking the usual areas below mountain passes, including Fontana, the San Fernando Valley, Riverside, Chino Hills and the Oxnard Plain in Ventura County.
The winds helped to keep most Southern California crops out of danger.
But temperatures dipping into the 20s threatened mandarin oranges in the San Joaquin Valley. Mandarins can only withstand 32 degree temperatures.
Growers have been running irrigation water and turned on wind machines to ward off the cold.
“It’s the coldest so far. We’re expecting a little damage,” said Alyssa Houtdy of Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual, an association of the state’s 3,900 citrus growers.
Farmers were still being contacted for assessments.
“We came out better than what we expected,” Delano grower Doug Carman told the Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/TVduLi ). Carman’s Paramount Citrus farms about 30,000 acres of clementine mandarins, navel and Valencia oranges, lemons and other citrus varieties.
In Beverly Hills, fans brought heavy coats and scarves as they waited along the red carpet hoping to catch glimpses of stars arriving for the Golden Globes ceremony Sunday evening. Some of the actors shivered but weren’t complaining.
“I’d rather be nippy than boiling hot,” said actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who arrived in a strapless dress. “No, I’m not wearing any leggings or long underwear.”
In San Diego, zookeepers offered extra heat and shelter for some animals.
The cold air was flowing east into neighboring Arizona, where metropolitan Phoenix was marking one of its coldest stretches in year. Temperatures over the weekend dipped to 30 degrees at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. They fell well below zero in mountainous Flagstaff.
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