Hurricane Preparations Made in Capitol Complex

Back-to-back natural disasters have made for an unusually busy week for the Architect of the Capitol.

Fresh from surveying the minor damage to the Capitol complex caused by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the area Tuesday, the AOC began preparing for Hurricane Irene on Wednesday.

The hurricane, which was a Category 3 storm on Thursday afternoon, is projected to approach the North Carolina coast Saturday and then work its way up the East Coast, pouring heavy rain and blasting high winds across the region.

In preparation, the AOC started removing objects that could be blown away by wind, such as potted plants, signs and fences, spokeswoman Eva Malecki said.

“We have a severe weather plan that we follow to prepare the grounds and buildings for hurricanes, etc., and are monitoring the storm closely,” she said via email.

The agency has also been cleaning out storm drains, fortifying glass and other fixtures, and securing scaffolding that is being used for construction projects around the Capitol complex.

An earthquake aftershock early Thursday did not cause further damage to the buildings, Malecki said.