TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many Times Has Niagara Falls Stopped Flowing?

Do you know how many times the Falls have stopped flowing and why?

On March 29th 1848, Niagara Falls ran dry during a weather related occurrence—a south-west gale blowing off of Lake Erie caused ice to jam and dam up at the mouth of the Niagara River causing the water flow to be severely restricted. The water over the Horseshoe Falls and American Falls was reduced to a trickle for approximately thirty (30) to forty (40) hours.

In 1953, the water over a portion of the Horseshoe Falls nearest the Table Rock Pavilion was stopped by the building of a series of coffer dams to allow for remedial work to be done to the edge of the Falls. This was done to allow a more even water flow and to slow the rate of erosion.

In 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a series of coffer dams which stopped or rather reduced the water flow over the American Falls to a mere trickle. This was done to allow a study of the rock formations at the crest of the Falls and to study the feasibility of whether there was any possible way to remove the rock (talus) at the base of the American Falls. In the end, the engineers decided to let Mother Nature take its course.