Washington Monument lights go out for second time this year

- For the second time this year, the lights at Washington Monument went out.

The outage took place for about two hours Monday night, but the lights were later restored at around 7:30 p.m.

According to the National Park Service, the cause of Monday night's outage is different from last week as the red aviation warnings lights also went out this time. The warning lights stayed on during last week's outage.

"Electricians traced the issue to a ground fault; they will investigate further tomorrow to determine the cause," said Mike Litterst of the National Park Service.

The monument's lighting system clock was blamed for last week's outage.

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The monument has been closed to visitors since August because of ongoing problems with its elevator, which carries visitors to an observation deck near the top of the 555-foot tall monument. It usually draws 600,000 visitors a year. In December, officials announced a $2 million to $3 million project to modernize the elevator.

The monument is expected to reopen to visitors in 2019.

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