Irene's Damage

More Cracks in Washington Monument

The National Park Service said Wednesday that it has discovered water inside the Washington Monument, indicating that there are more cracks inside the structure. The monument’s first cracks came from last week’s rare East Coast earthquake, and officials said it also suffered damage in Hurricane Irene. Engineers said they sealed the cracks after the earthquake, but the leaks indicate that there are more. “The hurricane pointed out cracks and leaks that we didn’t know about,” said Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson. Johnson said the majority of the cracks are in the mortar between the monument’s stones. The monument is designed to withstand damage so that the stones are spared, but a few of the stones have cracked.