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Weather Watch: Wind Wreaks Havoc on Mall Preparations

It's cold in Washington today, temps falling below freezing, and about to get worse, headed into the low 20s tomorrow and Saturday. But it's the wind that's become the issue for construction workers preparing the National Mall for Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony and Pennsylvania Ave. for the parade.

The Post's Dan Keating was walking through the Mall this morning and filed this report:

The mall was empty in the gusting wind except for crews installing electricity for the Jumbotrons and speakers, and a couple brave joggers.
A strong gust suddenly knocked down about 400 feet of five-foot high chainlink fence onto the 3rd Street sidewalk running all the way across the mall from Jefferson Drive to Madison Drive -- in the ticketed standing room area.
No one was hurt by the metal slamming onto the pavement, but if anyone had been walking that stretch of sidewalk, it could have been disastrous.

Another Post reporter Petula Dvorak was coming up Pennsylvania Ave. when she noticed that many of the American flags that had been strung on flagpoles lining the street had been blown down, bunched together and no longer flapping in the wind.

For up-to-the-minute weather news, tips and analysis, stay tuned to the Post's Capital Weather Gang.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 15, 2009; 1:11 PM ET  | Category:  Weather
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