Washington Monument to remain closed as repairs from lightning strike stretch on

The Washington Monument will remain closed until at least Thursday, Aug. 26 —  a week and a half after a lightning strike scrambled the monument’s electronic access system.

Repairs to the system have taken longer than initially expected. The National Park Service said in a tweet Monday it was awaiting parts to repair the damaged system. Initially, the park service had hoped to have the 555-foot monument reopened this weekend.

The monument was struck by lightning on Aug. 15 during a thunderstorm, the latest in a series of mishaps to befall one of the District’s iconic tourist attractions.

The dramatic moment was captured in a video shared on social media by Georgetown Law student Travis Nix:

Shuttered for six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the monument also sustained significant damage during the 2011 East Coast earthquake.

The magnitude 5.8 quake caused millions of dollars worth of damage to the structure and is believed to have led, years later, to persistent elevator outages.

The monument was closed for three years between 2016 and 2019 for long-term repairs funded by billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein.

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of the quake.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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