Park Service: Washington Monument repairs continue after lightning strike

The Washington Monument could soon reopen after being closed since a lightning strike Aug. 15.

That dramatic lightning strike damaged the monument’s electronic access system and repairs took longer than expected.

But on Wednesday afternoon, the National Park Service tweeted that the needed parts to fix the system have arrived.

The park service said installation and testing is set for Thursday and would be completed “as soon as possible.”

The 555-foot tall monument just recently reopened after being closed for six months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also sustained significant damage during the East Coast earthquake in 2011, forcing it to shut down for three years. The damage caused by that earthquake has been cited as the culprit behind elevator breakdowns at the monument.

The Aug. 15 lightning strike was captured in a video shared on social media by Georgetown Law student Travis Nix:


EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the monument would be open Thursday.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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