WASHINGTON — Neighbors of Vice President Dick Cheney are being shaken and rattled at least once a day by mysterious blasts at the U.S. Naval Observatory where Cheney lives.
The Navy says the explosions are part of a construction project that has been going on for several months, but won't say more because the project is classified.
Navy spokeswoman Cate Mueller described the work as an "infrastructure improvement, a utility upgrade."
She said they have tried to reassure the neighborhood -- which includes the Washington residence of former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) -- that the blasts will not damage their homes. She said most understand that, because of national security concerns, they can't reveal details or confine the construction to a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.
Joseph Rieser, who lives half a block off Observatory Circle, said each blast was "almost like thunder because it rolls and it lasts a noticeable period, probably several seconds." He said the explosions rattle windows that aren't shut tight.