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Ten Years After Frances, Citrus Remains Down

frances

Ten years ago Friday Hurricane Frances came ashore on Florida's East Coast.

It was the second of four disastrous hurricanes to strike the state during the '04 season. The citrus industry never really recovered.

Not since Texas in 1886 had four hurricanes struck a state in one season.

Andrew Meadows of Florida Citrus Mutual says the industry was especially hard-hit. He says today production remains down by more than 50 percent.

"It just knocked trees out, pulled trees out, uprooted them, destroyed groves."

Meadows says citrus greening and development also are to blame.

Frances crossed the Florida peninsula and made a second landfall in the Big Bend area.

The hurricane was the most destructive of the '04 season, spawning 23 tornadoes. It prompted evacuation orders for 2.8 million in the state.

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, among many other publications. She began her career at The Associated Press in Nashville, Tenn. Amy grew up in Florida and lives in Orlando with her 7-year-old daughter.