Elevator Problem at Jewel Cave Suspends Cave Tours
Jewel Cave National Monument has once again suspended cave tours due to problems with its elevator system.
The two 28-story elevators which serve as the primary transportation mode for all staff and visitors to reach the cave have been off-line since the afternoon of Friday October 12th.
Intermittent issues with the elevators have been popping up since lightning stuck the Monument this past July and caused damage to the elevators, electrical systems and internal phone lines.
Despite continued efforts to repair the elevators, there is no definite date when the elevators will again be operational.
Park staff have been working in collaboration with elevator service technicians and Black Hills Electric Cooperative to find causes for the problems. Nearby Wind Cave National Park has also assisted with the effort through staff support and electrical system testing.
Data recorders monitoring voltage surges and power fluctuations have been installed on incoming power lines to the visitor center, as well as the elevator equipment but so far have not shown any significant areas of concern.
We have experienced sporadic elevator shutdowns for the past several months. We believed the problems were being repaired after each shutdown, but additional problems keep showing up. The situations have not only caused visitor and employee frustration, but our level of visitor services is being compromised. We are trying our best to narrow down the possibilities, and we believe we are making progress. However, we still have some causes to rule out.
As much as we dislike suspending cave tours, we cannot operate until we are assured the problems have been identified and fixed. The elevators need to be repaired, so they perform safely and reliably. Most importantly we will not compromise visitor and employee safety. Larry Johnson, Superintendent of Jewel Cave National Monument
The Visitor Center will continue to be open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30pm. For more information on the closures please call the visitor center at 605-673-8300.
Jewel Cave Suspends Tours [Jewel Cave National Monument]