Washington Monument Springs a Leak

Hurricane Irene flooded quake-damaged landmark
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2011 3:56 AM CDT
Updated Sep 1, 2011 5:56 AM CDT
Washington Monument Springs a Leak
Officials inspect the Washington Monument last week amid debris that fell to the floor after a 5.8 magnitude struck the Washington area.   (AP Photo/National Park Service)

The East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene have left the Washington Monument flooded. Engineers plugged cracks in the monument caused by last week's quake before the storm hit, but pools of water were found inside during a post-hurricane inspection, indicating that some cracks are still undiscovered.

"There were some leaks that we were not able to identify or able to plug," a National Parks Service spokeswoman tells CNN. "What happened was a lot of mortar popped out, so much so that you can see sunlight above 450 feet in the monument." The monument will remain closed for the foreseeable future, but engineers say it is still structurally sound. (More earthquake stories.)

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