Washington Monument Remains Closed and Severely Damaged After Irene

Walking into the Washington Monument on Monday after Hurricane Irene blew through, standing water was found puddled inside the iconic structure's interior....
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: Security guards and a U.S. Park ranger stand on the temporary fence circling the base of the Washington Monument on the National Mall August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument will remain indefinitely closed after Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude East Coast earthquake left cracks near the top of the 555-foot-tall obelisk. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Washington Monument Leaking After Irene

Walking into the Washington Monument on Monday after Hurricane Irene blew through, standing water was found puddled inside the iconic structure’s interior.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: Security guards and a U.S. Park ranger stand on the temporary fence circling the base of the Washington Monument on the National Mall August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument will remain indefinitely closed after Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude East Coast earthquake left cracks near the top of the 555-foot-tall obelisk. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

That water could indicate more cracks in the monument than were previously detected, Park Service spokesperson Carol Johnson told News4.

An outside engineering has been working with the Park Service to evaluate breaks in the marble structure’s upper triangle, detected after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the nation’s capital on August 23.

A helicopter inspection following the quake revealed a 4-inch crack on one of the monument’s upper triangular faces last week. A follow-up evaluation conducted by architectural firm Wiss, Janney, Elsner Associates detected at least 3 more large cracks in the monument.

Last Friday, the firm WJE dispatched a rope crew to the monument. The crew installed backer rod into the crack, material that was supposed to keep water from the hurricane from intruding into the monument. On Monday, however, more water was found inside the building, enough to pool on the interior stairway. The water could be a sign that there are still more cracks in the monument than were previously detected. The firm WJE will release a report sometime this week with their recommendations about any necessary repairs. Until then, there is not timetable to reopen the monument.

source – NBC Washington

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