PLANT CITY, Florida - Another freeze warning in Eastern Hillsborough County means more strawberry-watering in the Plant City/Dover area. But residents may not need to fear catastrophic sinkhole damage like they saw in January.
Even though there aren't any new restrictions on how much water the strawberry farmers can spray on their crops to protect them from the cold, one night of watering isn't expected to drop the underground aquifer too badly.
Michael Molligan, Communications Director for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, says January's string of 11 freezing or near-freezing nights nearly doubled the previous record of six. That's why the sinkhole problems were somewhat unprecidented.
However, farmers in this area have been spraying their crops for decades and one freezing night like this one in February doesn't pose much of a problem to the area...even if frustrated residents are hesitant to agree.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District will hold at least three public workshops so the farmers and homeowners can sit down together and try to find a solution that protects both groups from deep freezes in the future.
Follow 10 Connects reporter Noah Pransky on Twitter at www.twitter.com/noahpransky or Facebook at www.facebook.com/noahpransky.
Noah Pransky, 10 Connects