RealNews

Tourist sites could close if terror threat increases

Some of the country’s most popular tourist sites might be closed temporarily if a war with Iraq raises new terrorist concern. The Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, the White House, the St. Louis Gateway Arch and the Liberty Bell pavilion in Philadelphia would probably be temporarily sealed off, Interior Department officials said Thursday. All five of those plus the road atop Hoover Dam in Nevada were closed to the public within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. All but the White House, Statue of Liberty and the Hoover Dam road were reopened within a week, but only after new airport-type security measures such as metal detectors, bag searches, hand wands and sniffing dogs were added. “The National Park Service is prepared to take the appropriate action, as we have in the past, to protect public safety and preserve these monuments and memorials,” said spokesman Dave Barna. More prominent dams – such as the Grand Cooley in Washington state and Shasta in California – also might be restricted from public access or closed if the terrorism threat increases, said Kip White, a spokesman for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation. Full Story

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