George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate suffered a severe mudslide after storms dumped heavy rain, lashing winds and hail the size of quarters on an area just south of the Beltway Friday night.
The Mount Vernon area was particularly hard hit as the storm moved slowly east. The historic landmark suffered damage to the east lawn, after a severe mudslide took out close to 100 feet of a brick wall, just below 18th-century mansion, according to Curt Viebranz, president and chief executive of the landmark south of Alexandria.
“It was torrential. . . . It actually sheared some of the bricks,” said Viebranz, who estimated that the area got six to seven inches of rain within an hour. “The force of the rain and the runoff was just . . . Mother Nature.”
The mansion house and other historic structures are intact, but other locations on the estate also suffered water damage, Viebranz said. Certain areas were closed to the public Saturday as inspections and repairs are carried out.
Viebranz estimates that the cost of repairs will run “north of a million bucks.”
Mount Vernon is owned and operated by a private, non-profit organization.
The estate staff assessed all buildings on the property after the storm, and Viebranz personally inspected George and Martha Washington’s tomb to make sure there was no flooding or water damage to the site.
The Mount Vernon estate has suffered mudslides before, said Viebranz, but “we’ve never had anything this severe.” He added that his staff, some of whom have worked at the estate for 30 years, “don’t remember anything of this magnitude.”
“We were the unlucky ones last night,” Viebranz said Saturday.