The Washington Post

Quake damage closes National Archives center


The National Records Center in Suitland will stay closed through at least Monday while engineers for the National Archives review damage to the massive facility caused by this week’s earthquake.

The earthquake and its aftershocks cracked and spilled masonry in the internal walls and stairwells, left a small water leak in a stack area and destabilized some shelving in a vault, Archives officials said Friday.

Masonry debris fell in internal stairways and some stack aisles. Several rows of shelving holding records shifted during the quake, crushing some boxes of records.

The good news: The Archives has determined that there is no known permanent damage to any records.

The Washington National Records Center in Suitland, is one of the largest records centers in the huge Archives system. It stores about 4 million cubic feet of records in 20 stack areas.

The records center guards the most diverse collection of records in the federal program, according to Archives officials.

Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.


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