It could be some time before families boarding flights to Washington D.C. are able to explore the Washington Monument again. The largest attraction in the nation’s capital has been closed since suffering substantial damage in a rare earthquake that rattled the East Coast last month.
However, a daredevil team is getting an up close and personal look at the obelisk this week during a daunting damage assessment mission.
Armed with two-way radios, digital cameras, and iPads, the team of four will repel down the 555-foot monument time and time again looking for additional signs of damage. Initial reports after the quake indicated large cracks near the top of the monument.
The team is in constant contact with the National Weather Service to avoid complications like nearby lightning strikes or high wind gusts. The exhaustive process could take several days to complete and could spill over into the weekend.
photo: James “tre’ hayes