Niagara Falls Going Dry: New York Plans To Shut Off Water To The Falls, Here’s How You Can See It Live

Niagara Falls is going to go dry, and anyone who wants to see what the iconic landmark looks like without any water will soon be getting their chance.

New York State announced that it will be shutting off water to the falls so they can replace the 115-year-old stone arch bridges that tourists use to view the falls and that park officials use to access Goat Island, where utilities are kept. They say the bridge is deteriorating and could soon be unsafe for people to walk across.

The exact plans to turn off water to Niagara Falls aren’t clear yet. The state proposal is first undergoing a public hearing at the Niagara Falls Conference Center, and a few different plans are being considered.

This is actually the second time that New York has turned off the water at Niagara Falls. The American side of the falls were also turned off in 1969 so geologists could study how rocks around the base of the falls had eroded. The event drew attention from around the world, with many tourists flocking to see what the falls looked like without water rushing over them.

“It’s the nature of curiosity. You want to see what’s underneath, to see its skeleton,” Michelle Kratts, the former Niagara Falls city historian, told the Buffalo News.

There could be some other interesting or grisly discoveries when Niagara Falls are shut off again, the report added.

“[The last time], something like skeletons were found,” the report noted. “Workers on that project discovered two bodies when the water was diverted,” she said.

“They also found millions of coins, carrying them out in buckets to deter people from going out onto the rocks, she said.”

Other locals remembered the excitement the last time Niagara Falls was shut off. Joel Paradise told the Buffalo News that his father took him to see crews digging through the dirt that was once covered by a rush of water.

“It was a pretty big event,” Paradise said. “Dump trucks started from the shore and progressively kept moving back with rock and fill into the river.”

Niagara Falls has gone viral other times in recent years. In each of the past two years, the falls have frozen as arctic temperatures took hold across the Great Lakes. As the polar vortex swept through the United States last winter, dipping arctic temperatures from the upper reaches of Canada, pictures of the frozen Niagara Falls have circulated around the internet.

In 2014, other photos of the ice-draped waterfall went viral, but also caused a bit of confusion. The pictures claimed that the falls had frozen over completely, but instead ice just covered the face of the falls. This left many tourists disappointed when they saw that the powerful flow of water was still rushing over the falls.

“I did think they were going to be frozen, because I had heard they were frozen,” photographer Linda Gellman said.

It’s not an unusual sight for people in the region to see Niagara Falls frozen. Just about every year the waterfall freezes at least partially.

Though it will still be a while before the water is shut off at Niagara Falls, when the time comes people from around the world will get to see it happen. The live video from the Hilton Fallsview Hotel is trained on Niagara Falls and will show exactly what it looks like when it goes dry, which could be sometime in the next year.

[Image via Wake Up Niagara]

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