|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.