Description: The Mount Weather Special Facility is a Continuity of Government (COG) facility operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The 200,000 square foot facility also houses FEMA's National Emergency Coordinating Center. Located on a 434 acre mountain site on the borders of Loudon and Clarke counties, the above ground support facilities include about a dozen building providing communications links to the White House Situation Room.
Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, it was reported that "House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other top leaders of Congress were taken to the safety of a secure government facility 75 miles west of Washington." ["Member of Congress condemn attacks," By James Jefferson, The Associated Press, 11 Sept 2002]. It was also reported that "Top congressional leaders were sent to a secure government facility 75 miles west of Washington. They returned Tuesday evening." ["Secret Service takes leaders to secure locations as government responds to attacks," By Laura Meckler, The Associated Press, 11 Sept 2002]. Route 601 [also called Blue Ridge Mountain Road] leads to Mt. Weather. One reporter traveling this road the afternoon of September 11th found "a traffic jam of limos carrying Washington and government license plates and even a motorcade led by eight Harley Davidson U.S. Park Police." ["Things That Go Bump In The Night At Cheney's Cave," by Paul Bedard White House Weekly December 4, 2001].
As of late 2001, the facility's enclave was to be soon expanded by 150 acres.