Floods Close Mall Museums

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  • An unusually violent summer storm hits Washington, D.C., on Sunday night, June 25, 2006, felling an old elm on the White House grounds and flooding the National Mall and surrounding buildings. Flooding and power outages closed the Castle, Arts and Industries Building, National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History. The Castle and A&I were closed from Monday, June 26, through Wednesday, June 28, when power was partially restored. NMNH remained closed to the public through Friday, June 30th.
  • NMAH reopened on Saturday, July 1, when temperature and humidity levels were restored to appropriate levels. The parking lots at the National Zoo flooded, so public access was limited until the Zoo reopened on Thursday, June 29. Nearby government buildings also sustained damage. The National Archives and Justice Department experienced severe flooding in their lower floors, necessitating moving staff for the better part of the year.


  • Arts and Industries Building
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Archives and Record Administration (NARA)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


"SI Staff Rise to the Challenges as Flooding Closes Mall Museums," Smithsonian "Torch," August 2006, pp. 1 and 3.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


June 25, 2006


  • Closings
  • Storms
  • Public buildings
  • Storm damage
  • Floods


  • Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)
  • Washington (D.C.)

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