Authorities were continuing to assess Thursday the damage caused to the Washington Monument by Hurricane Irene, after confirming that water was found inside the structure in the wake of the savage storm.
During an inspection Monday, standing water was found in the monument's stairwell and observation area, indicating leaks, according to National Park Service (NPS) spokeswoman Carol Johnson.
Irene cracked a few stones and "shook out" mortar in the structure, Johnson told FOX News Channel. The hurricane also created a four-foot crack near the top of the monument, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Johnson said that authorities were aware of some cracks in the monument prior to the storm but that "the water let us know that there are more cracks that we didn't know about."
The monument will remain closed until the damage is fully assessed. The NPS is expected to release a report next week.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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