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The Day an Ice Jam Reduced the Mighty Niagara Falls to a Trickle

On March 29, 1848, a massive ice jam reduced the mighty Niagara Falls to a trickle, a rare phenomenon that lasted for nearly 40 hours.

The ice jam developed as strong winds blew chunks of ice from Lake Erie into the Niagara River's entrance near Buffalo, blocking the flow of water to Niagara Falls.

Residents first noticed the eerie silence of barely any water rushing over Niagara Falls during the evening of March 29.

In the hours that followed, a report from the New York State Assembly states that people were able to retrieve guns, bayonets and tomahawks -- all artifacts from the War of 1812 -- from the exposed river bed.

Some crew members of the famous "Maid of the Mist" used this time to blast away rocks that had created navigation hazards.

Nearby mills and factory machines, which used power generated from the Falls, had to be shut down.

Normalcy around Niagara Falls finally resumed during the night of March 31, when the ice jam broke free and water once again started roaring over the Falls.