If there’s anything I’ve learned from family vacation, it’s the impact of “ooooh, ahhhhhh.” Niagara Falls, one of the world’s natural wonders, is sometimes regarded as a cheesy tourist spot, but if you’ve seen it up close, you know it’s no Madame Tussaud’s (which does happen to be in Niagara Falls, but moving on…). Now Flickr user Russ Glasson has shared some previously unseen pictures of Niagara Falls taken in 1969, when the Falls were dewatered for maintenance. Meaning: They turned off the Niagara Falls. Whoah.
The pictures come from 35mm slides taken by Glasson’s in-laws and can be found among several pictures of the Falls in its natural state. (Can something be said for the utter disappointment of showing up at Niagara Falls only to find them completely dry, but then for the utter amazement at showing up at Niagara Falls to find them completely dry?)
In 1969, the water that usually rushes from the Falls was diverted by the Army Corps of Engineers so they could remove the rocks, or talus, that started gathering at the bottom of the American Falls due to erosion. There had been two major rock falls in 1931 and 1954, and this began the conversation about “the imminent death” of the American Falls. In 1965, the United States Congress approved legislation to stop the Falls to take care of the problem. Humans beings stopped the 150,000 gallons of water that flowed per second. (The Canadian side of the Falls, the Horseshoe Falls, flows at 600,000 gallons per second.)
Here is another picture of the dewatered Falls, followed by a smiliar angle of the Falls running:
Thanks for sharing, Russ Glasson! And if you feel so inclined/inspired, watch a live feed of the Falls here.