Yesterday, the National Park Service released video from inside of the Washington Monument showing just how much the structure shook during that 5.8-magnitude earthquake that hit the East Coast last month. Startled visitors and park rangers appear uncertain of what to do at first, then begin to calmly and orderly move down the building, with one ranger in the lead and another staying behind to ensure that everyone gets out safely. As the video continues, debris begins to fall, obscuring the view to a degree, and giving an indication of the amount of a damage suffered to the interior.
The Park Service says that the monument is structurally sound, although it is unclear at this time when it will reopen. A team of engineers will begin a comprehensive inspection of the obelisk today by repelling down the side of the structure. That will take about five days to complete, but the overall assessment won’t be finished until sometime later in October. From there, renovations will get underway, while the building also undergoes its annual preparation for winter as well.