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Washington Monument Closed After Dramatic Lightning Strike 

In this June 7, 2021, photo taken from the window of an American Airlines aircraft the Washington Monument is seen during a flight from Phoenix to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) reported Monday the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is closed to the public after being struck by lightning early Sunday.

From its Twitter account, the NPS said the lightning strike occurred as powerful storms moved through the Washington area just after midnight Sunday. A video the park service posted showed the moment a bolt of lightning struck the 169-meter-tall obelisk.

The NPS says the monument strike damaged the monument’s electronic systems and that the closure was necessary to allow crews to make repairs.

The monument to the first president of the United States, George Washington, was completed and opened to the public in 1884. At the time it was the tallest structure in the world. Thanks to building height restrictions in the U.S. capital, the monument remains one of the tallest structures in Washington.