Editorials | Environmental
|Unseen Photos of Niagara Falls Without Water|
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December 22, 2010
Roughly six million cubic feet of water tumble down the Niagara Falls every minute. But for a few months in 1969 the American falls were completely dry, and last year a Connecticut man found never-before-seen photos of the historic occasion.
In 1965, the local Niagara Falls Gazette revealed that there was an abundance of loose rock at the base of the Niagara Falls—it had collected primarily during two large rockslides in 1931 and 1954—and warned that if left unremoved, the debris could cause the falls to stop flowing altogether.
After a few years of indecision, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was given the task of diverting the American side of the falls over to Canada, and on June 12, 1969, they completed a 27,800 ton rock dam that halted its flow for the first time in 12,000 years.
Last year, a man named Russ Glasson found a shoebox of 35mm slides of the Niagara Falls during that period that showed it as it had rarely been seen before: completely dry. The photos had been taken by his in-laws throughout the second half of 1969.
In November of that year, after removing some of the loose rocks and shoring up the falls with mechanical bolts, the engineers destroyed their dam and rewatered the falls.