A powerful winter storm that struck the Southeast this week is the latest blow to an already struggling Florida citrus industry, a state official told CNBC on Thursday.
Heavy snow and high wind pounded the Southeast on Wednesday, dumping snow on Florida's capital for the first time in three decades and damaging crops. The governors of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency, warning residents to expect icy roads and freezing temperatures.
The storm was making its way to Maine on Thursday, knocking out power and icing over roadways along the way.
Late last year, Florida's hopes for a good year in juice production were crushed after Hurricane Irma caused losses of 50 to 70 percent of Florida's citrus crop in portions of South Florida. The storm losses were initially pegged at $761 million, but that number has since grown.
"This is pretty much the knockout year for Florida citrus," said Shannon Shepp, executive director of Florida's Department of Citrus. "We're doing everything we can to make this American icon survive, and it's like the hits just keep on coming."