Deep freeze hits Deep South

Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

On Tuesday morning, Brooks and many Georgians flinched at the 13-degree weather.

That said, it could be worse.

"The dirty word around here is ice, and I don't think any of that is in the forecast," Brooks said.


In south Texas, fishermen were told that their favorite hobby is off-limits for now because of the cold.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issued a two-day temporary closure to saltwater fishing along parts of the coast to protect game fish. A hard freeze can kill fish in shallow bay waters but also cause fish to gather in a few deep areas, where they become sluggish and more prone to being caught by fishermen.

"The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years," Robin Riechers, director of the agency's Coastal Fisheries Division, said in a news release. "Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout."

Texas has about 2 million acres of bays and estuaries susceptible to freeze, according to the agency. There were three major freezes in the 1980s, including one in 1989, when the temperature at Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees. An estimated 11 million fish were killed.


In Mobile, it was cold enough to freeze parts of the bay, an Alabama news site reported.


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