It was the coldest Christmas on record in many cities across the West, and the week-old cold wave that has caused millions of dollars in damage to California produce also nipped some of the flowers needed next week for Rose Bowl parade floats.
Flood victims in Tennessee began returning home to clean up the damage but some in Alabama and Mississippi were still kept out of their homes by high water.
Weather-related deaths since Dec. 18 rose to 81.
The cold also began to take a toll on air quality as people turned to wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for heat. Air in Oregon's Eugene-Springfield area was rated unhealthful yesterday morning because of particulates; wood smoke is a major source of such pollution.
Albuquerque had its coldest Christmas on record at 1 degree. Eugene, Ore., had a record low of 15, the seventh consecutive day the morning low matched or set a record. Yesterday's low of 19 in Portland, Ore., was the fourth record in five days. Gallup, N.M., awoke to 25 below zero. Temperatures across North Dakota were 10 to 20 below, and wind blowing at 10 to 20 mph made it feel like more than 40 below.
But Texas warmed to seasonal normals on Christmas Day. Temperatures in southern Texas reached the 50s for the first time since the cold wave pummeled the state Friday. Arizona also warmed up slightly, with lows of 33 in Phoenix and 35 in Yuma.
A slight warming trend was predicted for the rest of the week in California, but agricultural officials said it was too late for crops damaged by the cold.
In Tulare County, where most of California's navel oranges are grown, Agricultural Commissioner Lenord Craft estimated a $200 million loss to this year's harvest.
Sunkist Growers Inc. cooperative spokeswoman Claire Peters said initial estimates show 50 percent of the citrus crop may be damaged. Some may be salvaged for juice, she said.
Growers said fruit on trees in the southern San Joaquin Valley was a total loss, and trees three years or younger are likely damaged, the National Weather Service reported.
Arizona's $70 million citrus crop may have escaped the cold wave with little damage, several citrus experts and growers said.
The cold also threatened some of the flower-covered floats in Pasadena's Tournament of Roses New Year's Day parade.
Rick Chapman, whose firm builds 11 floats, faced two problems: The cold damaged flower crops in California, and fresh flowers from Florida and South America were on trucks that were stuck someplace east of California.
"The snow and icy roads are delaying delivery," he said.
Some 12,000 people in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco were without water because frozen pipes burst and because some people tried to prevent them from bursting.
District President Fred Nitz, who declared a state of emergency, said many customers let their taps run to prevent freezeup, costing the agency 900 gallons of water a minute.
Plumbers in Albuquerque stopped taking house calls to thaw frozen pipes by noon Monday. "It's been awful," said Jules Appelman of Academy Plumbing. At least two fires in Albuquerque were blamed on homeowners' attempts to thaw frozen pipes.
"Everyone who came into the store today either had broken water pipes or frozen ones," said Kathy Cushing, owner of a store in Cedar Crest, N.M., east of Albuquerque.
"We are getting at least 500 calls a day," said Barbara Chriswell of Olson Plumbing and Heating in Colorado Springs. "We have waiting lists. We are swamped. We're working around the clock."
In the Southeast, the problem was flooding caused by heavy rain that developed ahead of the cold air mass.
Tennesseans returned to their houses to clean up after weekend flooding that contributed to several deaths and hundreds of evacuations.
About 150 families remained out of their homes yesterday in Columbus, Miss., where high water from the Tennessee-Tombigbee River and two creeks flooded roads and houses and businesses.