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White House lawn damaged and ‘needs $80,000 worth of repairs’ after Trump convention events

The White House has run up a reportedly hefty bill to repair damage to its lawn after it was used for last month’s Republican National Convention. 

The famous Rose Garden and South Lawn are undergoing extensive re-turfing as crews work to repair the damage – at cost of $79,675 (£61,504), according to TMZ.

President Donald Trump had upended long-held norms by using the White House grounds as the stage for a campaigning event ahead of the presidential election.

He accepted his party’s nomination for presidential candidate on the South Lawn in front of an audience of about 1,500 people.

Supporters watched the event – capped with an elaborate fireworks show – while sat on closely-packed white chairs.

Earlier, First Lady Melania Trump had delivered her convention speech in the Rose Garden.

It followed extensive renovations to the garden that included the removal of crab apple trees, the addition of a three-foot-wide limestone path and improvements to its drainage and broadcast infrastructure.

Officials said set-up for the event had begun just after the renovation and after a bout of heavy rain, which may have prevented the new sod from taking as well as it should have.

The day of the first lady’s speech, Astroturf was placed over the garden lawn because it was deemed too swampy.

“The sod is being replaced at no cost to taxpayers. Additionally, there has been other planned infrastructure work taking place on the south grounds,” said White House spokesperson Judd Deere.

The work is expected to be completed by early Wednesday or Thursday, provided the weather does not turn bad again, he added.

Officials also noted that some sod replacement is not unusual after major events, including the annual Easter Egg Roll and major state visits.

The White House has avoided using the Rose Garden and South Lawn for public events since the convention.

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