Nightly News | August 24, 2011
>>> now to the aftermath of the earthquake that rattled the east coast yesterday, perhaps 100 million people felt it. today damage assessment and the big concern is what they found at the washington monument . tom costello joins me from there. tom?
>> reporter: hi, lester, good evening, they found a crack at the very top of the washington amo monument, it's about an inch, about four feet long. at least for now, this 555 foot building is off limits to the public. more surveillance camera video of the moment it all started, 1:51 p.m . and everyone, it seems has a story to tell.
>> it was like this big shake and then a pause for like three seconds and then it shook more.
>> reporter: in washington the chief concern remains the cracks near the top of the 137-year-old washington monument , it remains closed as structural engineers survey the damage.
>> they need to probably go back tomorrow and again on friday to determine what is going to be necessary.
>> reporter: on capitol hill , crews have cleaned up the paint chips and plaster that fell from the capitol dome but today more cracks were found running along the walls of two committee hearing rooms. mean while the national cathedral has no insurance to pay for the damage, it's also closed for now. the most powerful quake to hit the east coast in 67 years shook buildings and people as far north as montreal, as far south as atlanta and chicago to the west. at the epicenter of the quake, 90 miles south of d.c. in mineral, virginia, they spent today shoring up and picking up. while the overall damage was minor, yesterday may have been a much-needed wakeup call to disaster or terror response plans. in d.c. , traffic was in gridlock yesterday.
>> when everybody leaves at the same time, we don't make a lot of progress.
>> reporter: as d.c. 's mass exodus hit the highways.
>> the one thing the district of columbia should learn from yesterday's event is evacuation planning as it's currently predicated is not working.
>> reporter: and across the east coast , cell phone service was also overwhelmed and jammed while texting generally got through. amazing information there, texting and also social media works. remember that in the event of an emergency. but also amazing is there was no significant to dams, to nuclear power plants , to bridges, to airports so. even tomorrow, most of the federal buildings that were closed today along with d.c. area schools are expected to reopen.