Iguanas Falling out of Trees in Frosty Florida
MIAMI (AP) — It's so cold in Florida that iguanas are falling from their perches in suburban trees.
The National Weather Service in Miami said temperatures dipped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) early Thursday in parts of South Florida. That's chilly enough to immobilize green iguanas common in Miami's suburbs.
Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino tweeted a photograph of an iguana lying belly-up next to his swimming pool. WPEC-TV posted images of an iguana on its back on a Palm Beach County road.
Green iguanas are an exotic species in Florida known for eating through landscaping and digging burrows that undermine infrastructure.
They're not the only reptiles stunned by this week's cold snap: sea turtles also stiffen up when temperatures fall. Wildlife officials say the frigid animals may appear dead but often are still alive.
A massive winter storm swept from the Carolinas to Maine on Thursday, dumping snow along the coast and bringing strong winds that will usher in possible record-breaking cold.
Up to 18 inches of snow was expected in eastern New England. Blizzard warnings and states of emergency were in effect, schools and government offices closed for the day, thousands of flights were canceled and motorists were warned to be careful as conditions worsened. Shelters were open as officials worried about power outages leaving people without any heat.
The massive storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico, first hitting the Florida Panhandle. It has prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages.
Wind gusts strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines were predicted in places where the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings. They include the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.
More than two-thirds of flights in and out airports in the New York City area and Boston were canceled. The airline-tracking site FlightAware reported more than 3,200 canceled flights within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday morning.