Our intrepid reporter in Washington, D.C., Sheldon Kusselson is monitoring the situation with the cherry trees closely. He contributed to this report:
The cherry blossoms bring big business to Washington, D.C. The festival typically brings more than 1.5 million visitors to the District, and one research study suggests the festival leads to $400 million in economic impact for the D.C. region. So, the threat of losing the blossoms to this big freeze is a BIG DEAL for the area.
In fact, in some circles, it is felt this might be the most catastrophic events to hit the Capital since….you fill in the blank.
22F this morning and another cold one tonight after only getting to 32F this afternoon. That low was below the threshold of 24F or lower, and could mean that as much as 90% of blossoms have been ruined. It would be the first widespread death knell for the blossoms ever (going back to when the first ones were planted just over a 100 years ago).
Too bad for those little 400 million dollar revenue producers.
Fortunately, the damage will not be permanent. All the news isn’t all bad for this spring. The Kwanzen variety trees weren’t expected to bloom until mid-April anyway.
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