Coldest temperatures of the season hit Treasure Coast, South Florida

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 07:08:45-05

Vero Beach and Okeechobee residents are expected to see the coldest weather in our area Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Monday night, Vero Beach residents could be seen wearing layers and coats. Outside seating at restaurants was empty.



“A few extra layers and we can handle it,” said resident Jim Davis. “Beats the damn snow up north!”


But Davis, a ‘snow bird’ from the north, says it’s a little chilly, even for him. “It bothers me. I like hot weather.”


The cold might be uncomfortable for some, but it’s potentially threatening for other Treasure Coast residents.


Fort Pierce isn’t expected to be as cold as Vero Beach, but employees at Heathcote Botanical Gardens are keeping a close eye on the conditions.


“I can assure you if it does drop, we’ll be on campus,” said Executive Director Diane Kimes.


A source of pride for the gardens is the near 100 Bonsai trees. Kimes says their garden has the most tropical Bonsai trees in the country.


They’re the most sensitive plants to cold weather and frost, Kimes says, “It can be devastating.”


The plants were sprayed with water, which helps lock in some warmth.


If a frost risk arises, crews will cover each plant with blankets.


“It takes about three to four hours to do about 100 of the trees,” Kimes said. “We’re going to be cautiously optimistic that we won’t have to go to that level.”