WTOP-Radio reports that 6-inch thick branches have been snapped off in some cases. Other branches are bent down to the ground and remain covered by the snow.
National Park Service spokesman Bill Line told WTOP that it is the worst damage to the cherry trees that he has seen in nearly nine years with the Park Service. However, he is confident that the trees will be fine in the long run.
The damage to the cherry trees comes after two powerful snowstorms slammed Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The two storms combined dropped 28.6 inches on the city's Reagan National Airport. The capital receives 15.2 inches during an average winter. This winter is now the capital's all-time snowiest with a season total of 56.0 inches.
The cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., were a gift from Japan in 1912, according to the festival's official website. The trees provide a beautiful spectacle of white and pale pink when they bloom. Thousands of people come to the nation's capital to view this colorful display during the Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs from March 27 to April 11 this year.
Story by AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski