By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Five years ago today, the Earth moved and grabbed the attention of millions of people in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic. A rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake might still be having an impact on one famous landmarks.

The rumble was felt across the Mid-Atlantic but it was at the top of the Washington Monument, that the 5.8 magnitude quake may have been most frightening.

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“It was absolutely terrifying. It was shaking so violently, to have the mortar falling on your head,” said Nicolette Williams, with the U.S. Park Service. “The fear was so high that I was sure we were under attack. I didn’t realize it was an earthquake.”

August 23, 2011, a few buildings in Baltimore were damaged.

In Virginia, the quake also took a toll, but the biggest hits were in D.C. at the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument, inside and out.

“Wound up having to close the site for more than two and a half years to complete repairs,” said Mike Litterst, with the U.S. Park Service.

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It was not a job for those afraid of heights.

The entire monument had to be covered in scaffolding, for the $15-million in repairs and reinforcement.

On the fifth anniversary the monument is closed again. There’s trouble with the elevator, which may be the result of damage from the quake.

“Perhaps there was more damage to the elevator from the earthquake than was originally anticipated,” said Litterst. “There were open cracks in some of the stones. There was actually water getting into the interior of the monument. We’re starting to see the effect, the corrosive effects of moisture on some of those sensitive electronic systems that operate the elevator.”

If so, the quake is still being felt.

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The total damage from the earthquake, across the region, was set at $100-million.