The monument remains closed three days after the lightning strike.
*Updated on August 18, 2021:
The Washington Monument on the National Mall in D.C. got a major jolt on Sunday night. The 555-foot marble obelisk was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. Thankfully, no one was injured, but the park’s electronic access system was damaged, forcing park officials to close the monument for repairs.
The Washington National Monument had just reopened to the public on July 14, after being closed due to the coronavirus crisis.
A bystander caught the lighting strike on video and posted it to Twitter:
Washington Monument temporarily closed after being hit by lightning on Sunday - Watch!— Stefanie Kammerman/The Stock Whisperer (@VolumePrintcess) August 16, 2021
Signs signs everywhere are signs … pic.twitter.com/OqSAriWoZe
On Monday, the NPS posted the video to its Twitter feed and said the monument would be closed for repairs. Officials extended the closure through Wednesday, August 18.
Lightning strikes typically seek out the tallest structure and it doesn’t help that the marble tower’s apex is coated with aluminum. In 2011, the monument was damaged when an earthquake hit the region. The building closed for almost three years to repair cracks throughout the structure. The monument was closed again in 2016 to repair the elevators and build a new security screening center.
The Washington Monument is one of the most popular attractions in D.C. Tickets for the monument are always free but must be reserved online ahead of your visit. There is a $1 reservation fee and one ticket is good for four people.
Due to coronavirus protocols, there is reduced capacity in the elevators and visitors will only have a limited amount of time to spend on the observation deck.
Have you seen the Washington Monument? Share one tip in the comments for newbies.