Crews Rappel Washington Monument | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Crews Rappel Washington Monument

Play associated audio
A crew member climbs out of the top window of the Washington Monument Tuesday in order to begin rappelling down to assess the damage to the structure from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in August.
Armando Trull
A crew member climbs out of the top window of the Washington Monument Tuesday in order to begin rappelling down to assess the damage to the structure from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in August.

Structural engineers are rappelling on the outside of the Washington Monument Wednesday. They are surveying damage to the structure caused by the August 23 earthquake. The work was postponed early Wednesday morning due to thunderstorms, but the dozen-man team has since resumed their efforts.

The team did begin rappelling down the monument Tuesday, and the investigation was supposed to happen then, but it was called off then as well because of thunderstorms and dangerous lightning. Engineers have already set up equipment and protective barriers around the monument's lightning rods.

Inside the monument are climbing experts monitoring the pulleys and anchors that fasten the rappelling system that circles the uppermost portion of the monument.  The climbers are equipped with mallets, masonry tools, collection bags, digital cameras and even an iPad. 

Weather updates are relayed by radio to the four climbers, two men and two women, on the outside. Carol Johnson, with the U.S. Park Service, says climbers will cease work immediately if an electrical storm approaches or winds exceed 25 mph. They are able to work in the rain, but it is up to the discretion of the climbers.

Each stone has been catalogued and surveyed during the 1999-2000 scaffolding, and workers will be looking at every individual stone for damage.

The tallest structure in the District -- and one of its most popular tourist attractions, has been closed since the 5.8 magnitude temblor damaged its dome.

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Requiring every center that performs abortions to meet all the standards of a surgical center is excessively restrictive, said the federal district court judge who blocked that state rule Friday.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.