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Cold snap still threatening California citrus crops but chill will gradually ease

A cold snap that has California farmers struggling to protect the $1.5 billion citrus crop has slowly started to ease.

For a fifth night, temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley, the state's agricultural heart, dipped as low as 21 degrees.

In urban centers, it was 39 degrees in downtown Los Angeles early Tuesday, while San Francisco had 37 and San Diego, 36.

Motorists were urged to use caution because of icy conditions in some places. Black ice was blamed for a seven-car pileup in Oakland Monday and other crashes elsewhere.

Several Lake Tahoe casinos are cleaning up after below-zero temperatures burst sprinkler pipes.

In New Mexico, some public facilities in New Mexico opened later than usual Tuesday because of winter weather conditions that included freezing temperatures and poor driving conditions.