Strong winds drove huge amounts of ice across Lake Erie and into the mouth of the Niagara River. When temperatures dropped sharply on March 28, 1848, the ice formed a damn and cut off the flow of water.
“The direction and the strength built up a huge ice jam at the entrance to the river and it blocked most of the water,” said Niagara Falls historian Sherman Zavitz.
“Essentially, the river bed dried up.” “The direction and the strength built up a huge ice jam at the entrance to the river and it blocked most of the water,” said Niagara Falls historian Sherman Zavitz.
The unique spectacle was featured in a 2009 book by Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips titled The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry: Canadian Weather Facts and Trivia.
The flow of water over the American Falls was cut off a second time from June 12 to Nov. 25, 1969. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a cofferdam a 180-metre-long watertight enclosure built with 30,000 tonnes of rock that prevented the water from flowing towards the American Falls to permit geological studies of the rock formations.
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