DeSantis declares emergency in 30 counties after cold front slams Florida farms

Florida Division of Emergency Management ordered to assist response, recovery efforts

Ice clings to an ornamental plant at a nursery Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Plant City, Fla. Farmers spray water on their plants to help keep the fruit from getting damaged by the cold. Temperatures overnight dipped into the mid-20's. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday declaring a state of emergency in 30 counties where agriculture was hit hard by a cold front in late January.

Executive Order 22-27 grants Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie oversight as state coordinating officer, responsible in this case for executing the state’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan — as well as any other plans deemed necessary — to facilitate counties’ response to and recovery from the freezing temperatures, such as emergency harvests of frostbitten crops.

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DeSantis also called for “the relaxation of the restrictions on commercial vehicles” in order to quickly transport crops to processing sites and prevent the destruction of agriculture, according to the order.

Personnel from any state, regional or local government agency, including law enforcement agencies, are now subject to Guthrie’s direct command if they’re needed to assist in meeting response, mitigation and recovery efforts, according to the order.

Ahead of the cold front, FDEM worked with state agencies and local partners to determine which areas would likely need the help, the order reads.

Read the order by clicking here.

The emergency order applies to the following Florida counties:

  • Brevard
  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Citrus
  • Collier
  • DeSoto
  • Hardee
  • Hendry
  • Hernando
  • Highlands
  • Hillsborough
  • Indian River
  • Lake
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Monroe
  • Okeechobee
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Sarasota
  • Seminole
  • St. Lucie
  • Sumter
  • Volusia

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.