Engineers to commence damage assessment at Washington Monument… by rappelling

I’ve taken part in some interesting inspections of damaged buildings. One that I wouldn’t be willing to do? Rappel down the 555-foot Washington Monument. I get nervous hanging out on the eave of a two-story roof…

The monument, finished in 1884, sustained cracks more than an inch wide during the 5.8-magnitude earthquake, with water from Hurricane Irene and summer storms seeping in and causing damage, according to the park service.

Engineers will rappel on all four faces of the monument from two ropes each, anchored from a safety hatch near the top of the structure.