According to the National Park Service, the engineers who sealed the cracks in the Washington Monument after the earthquake in the D.C. area on Aug. 23 have discovered water inside the monument that indicates additional leaks.
Carol Johnson, a Park Service spokeswoman, tells the AP that there was standing water on several stairwells near the top of the monument Monday (Aug. 29) when workers re-entered the structure. The previously-found cracks had been sealed with a special waterproof material, but the “quite a bit of water” inside indicates there are most likely more cracks to be found. No new cracks have been found as of yet, but they are searching for the source(s) of the leak.
According to Federal News Radio, there have been a few thin layers of falling debris, so a fence has been installed around the base of the monument to keep passersby away.
Johnson says the engineers they are working with have dealt with earthquake damage before, but in this case “the nature of the Washington Monument is just so different.”
“I think it is unprecedented,” says Johnson.