Engineers to Rappel Down Washington Monument to Check for Earthquake Damage

Structural engineers are expected to begin rappelling down the Washington Monument to check on damage caused by last month's earthquake.

The inspection of the monument's exterior was delayed a day because of lightning. A team worked for several hours setting up equipment and creating a protective barrier around the monument's lightning rods.

The engineers will be looking for cracks, chips and other damage caused by the 5.8-magnitude quake that shook the nation's capital Aug. 23. The team works for the firm Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates Inc. and have experience traversing the sides of buildings.

The team is scheduled to start its work at 8 a.m. Wednesday, although it's not clear exactly when the engineers will emerge from the windows on the monument's observation deck.

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