Freeze means white flags out, protect plants

Saturday, March 4, 2017
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Anyone needing a warm place to stay will be accommodated.

WILLOW SPRING, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Those who find themselves on the street on any given night need a warm place to hide from the freeze.

Shelters across the area said temperatures this low Friday night qualified as a White Flag night, meaning they don't turn away anyone.

The Salvation Army of Wake County said it normally holds 93 people overnight. On a White Flag night, they do what they can to fit more than that.

They roll out cots, mats and air mattresses, making room for anyone coming through their doors.


Farmers, meanwhile are scrambling to cover their early buds from our "early spring" weather as the freeze hits Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Strawberry and peach growers, such as Ogburn Berries and Produce in Willow Spring, are keeping a close watch on their cash crops.

Simeon Ogburn said his strawberries make up 60 to 70 percent of his business. He said if they go bad it's hard to come out of that. He's using his irrigation system to protect his strawberries by setting his strawberries in ice overnight to protect them from frost. It's a process that will keep him up throughout the cold snap.

Thanks to the warmer February weather, strawberry crops are further along than normal and putting farmers on frost-watch longer.

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"Normally we frost-protect, we'll have a week or two we have to worry about it, this year it looks like we're going to have to do it for about a month, hopefully we don't have any really hard freezes that last throughout a day, that would be pretty catastrophic," Ogburn said.

Ogburn went on to say the strawberry season is actually about three weeks early.

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