Niagara Falls is counted among the natural wonders in America, and considering the fact that more than 85,000 cubic feet of water, on average, falls per second from it, we can say it rightly deserves this spot!
But do you know at one point in time, in fact, for several months, the torrent of water that gushes over its edge was reduced to just a trickle of drops? No, we are not kidding!
It happened nearly five decades ago when the US Army Corps of Engineers had to dewater American Falls for many months since a large number of rocks was sliding underneath it, posing a severe risk of erosion to the magnificent natural wonder, Mashable reports.
In case you don’t know, American Falls is the second largest of the three waterfalls that collectively make up Niagara Falls.
So, to protect the falls from potential destruction and keep it in all its glory, engineers decided to stop the water and study the geological make-up of the structure.
And since Niagara Falls stretch across the American-Canadian border, a joint commission was formed from the two countries which dewatered it for five months and executed the required work.
The water from the American Falls was diverted upstream towards the larger Horseshoe Falls by dumping more than 28,000 tonnes of rocks from 1200 trucks into a cofferdam – a temporary dam – in June 1969.
The team of engineers started its work as the falls dried out for the first time ever. The onlookers were excited to run across the dry land and collect coins thrown into the falls from years before.
Surprisingly, the observers only found two corpses despite the falls’ terrible history of suicides and accidents. Every year, at least 40 people are estimated to lose their lives either from an accidental cause or a deliberate suicide at the falls.
Coming back, the engineers installed steel bolts and cables around Luna Island and Bridal Veil Falls to improve the stability of the river bed.
In addition to that, they drilled drainage holes to reduce the pressure developed in the falls and also repaired two bridges located there.
After the work was completed, American Falls was allowed to flow back in its former normal state by slowly removing the cofferdam in November 1969.
However, the hefty process is expected to get repeated again as there is a severe need to replace the same old bridges above the water.
Let’s see what will be dredged up from the falls’ rocky bed this time!