The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry

If you’ve had the pleasure of standing right next to the roaring water falling over the precipice at Niagara Falls (and for me, it’s the sound that’s most impressive), then it’s hard to believe that the flow once naturally stopped for more than 24 hours! How could this have happened?

Very strong winds jammed ice against the mouth of the river near Buffalo, damming the flow for almost two full days, starting on 30 March 1848.

You can read more about the strange events of the day here and here.


About Santo D'Agostino

I have taught mathematics and physics since the mid 1980s. I have also been a textbook writer/editor since then. Currently I am working independently on a number of writing and education projects while teaching physics at my local university. I love math and physics, and love teaching and writing about them. My blog also discusses education, science, environment, etc. Further resources, and online tutoring, can be found at my other site
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3 Responses to The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry

  1. hakea says:

    That would have been interesting.

    We’ve had flooding at our local river recently. I’ve been gobsmacked by the amount of damage caused by the water.

    Spring time for you Santo. How is your garden growing?

    • Hello hakea!

      Nice to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear about the flooding, I hope your home has not been damaged. Australia has been hit hard in recent years by flooding and wildfires due to drought, so I read. Some of my wife’s relatives live near Sydney and were quite close to some wild fires the last time they hit that area.

      Yes, Spring is here in central Canada. It was an unusually mild winter, which meant that flowers starting sprouting early. Then we had about a ten-day stretch of near-summer temperatures (25+ on some days) in March, which caused many of the trees to get going. This was a concern, because this is one of the major fruit-growing areas of Canada, and if there were a cold snap it could nullify the crop for this year and potentially damage a lot of trees. There was indeed such a cold snap a few days ago, including snow, but thankfully I believe there was no damage. But it is quite unsettling to see daffodils and other May flowers blooming in March, and to see tulip trees, and plum and apricot trees, all in bloom in late March! The willows are also out, and many other deciduous trees are budding.

      Our own garden is coming to life as well. The trees are starting to bud, and the grass is very green and has started to grow already, which is strange for this time of year. I’m not sure the fig tree survived the winter. May is the traditional safe time to plant annual flowers and vegetables, but we may get started a little early this year.

      How is everything with you and your family, besides the flood? I’ll check your blog tomorrow, maybe there is more information about the flood there.

      All the best wishes,

      • hakea says:

        Hi Santo

        We are in the Blue Mountains. It would take a mighty amount of water for us to flood and in that case most of Australia would be under water. But, fifteen minutes drive down the road the Nepean River had a lot of water and the damage was incredible. In 2006, the Warragamba Dam which is Sydney’s drinking water was down to 20% capacity. In February this year after several months of heavy rain it was up to 82%. The following week the dam was overflowing and the flood gates were released.

        I’ve seen on other blogs from North America that it has been a mild winter with not much snowfall. Strange days.

        We don’t know what to expect this winter, at all. No-one is complaining about the weather. We now expect the unexpected.

        Just parenting stuff on my blog at the moment, after not posting for quite a while.

        Enjoy your Spring!

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