March 29,1848: The day Niagara Falls Stood Still

It was 165 years ago that Niagara Falls ceased to flow for about 30 hours. Here’s why.

A huge ice jam had packed the entrance to Lake Erie at the mouth of the Niagara River between Buffalo and Fort Erie damming the water flow down the river towards the falls.

Niagarans were awakened from their sleep because they could not hear the flow of the falls. Even today I hear the roar of the falls from my home during the early hours of the morning. I can hear it now as I write this blog.

Some Niagara residents thought it was the end of the world and headed for church!

When they heard what happened, people flocked onto the dry river bed above the falls retrieving all kinds of things that had been under water for centuries. One person even picked up a skeleton!

However, during the night of March 30th a low menacing growl could be heard from the south. The wind had shifted and the dam broke and within fifteen minutes the falls flowed again. People went back to sleep to the soothing roar of the falls.

Imagine what it would be like if all this water stopped flowing over the falls.

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