Winter storm hits Washington DC as cherry blossoms bloom

World Today

A huge snow storm barreled up the east coast of the United States, but for Washington DC, it hurt the world famous Japanese cherry blossoms.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg went out to check on the winter blooms.

Winter storm as cherry blossoms bloom in Washington DC

A huge snow storm is barreling up the east coast of the United States. In Washington DC, it also hurts the world famous Japanese cherry blossoms.

Usually in March, Washington DC’s Tidal Basin looks like spring during the so-called peak week of the cherry blossoms. Over 3,000 trees gifted by Japan, in full bloom, being viewed by more than a million tourists. Today, there’s little pink and, instead, white everywhere. The U.S. National Park Service says this is unprecedented.

Each year, organizers put together a festival to mark the blossoms’ expected peak. The boom in tourism provides a major source of revenue for the city. Because of unseasonably warmer temperatures in February, officials say, the date this year was moved up to this week. Many would be spectators arranged to come, by car, train, and plane but got snowed out.

The annual DC Cherry Blossom festival coincides with the start of spring. Vendors were all ready to make hamburgers but there’s nobody here to serve them to.

Two friends, one from Vancouver, the other from Beijing, said they’re used to snow, so that didn’t stop them. It’s still unclear if Washington’s famous buds will fully blossom or bust.

“Blossoms have been damaged and ultimately are probably are going to die earlier than they would” Mike Litterst, spokesman for the U.S. Nation Park Service said.