Niagara Falls' iron scow moves for first time in 101 years, moving it closer to Niagara Falls ledge

Daily Mail Online 1 month ago

A Halloween storm caused the iron dumping scow that's been stuck in place at the top of Niagara Falls to move significantly for the first time in more than 100 years. 

Canada's Niagara Parks revealed that the October 31 storm produced severe weather and heavy overnight currents, which moved the disposal barge downriver an estimated 164 feet from where it had been stuck since August 6, 1918. 

Niagara Parks Commission superintendent of heritage Jim Hill said in a video posted on Facebook that the boat 'appears to have flipped on it's side and spun around, it's not in the exact same spot as it was' on Friday. 

Canadian authorities said that the iron dumping scow that's been stuck in the same spot for 101 years moved significantly following an overnight Halloween storm. The scow is shown here in its new location on November 2
Canadian authorities said that the iron dumping scow that's been stuck in the same spot for 101 years moved significantly following an overnight Halloween storm. The scow is shown here in its new location on November 2
The iron scow was said to have moved about 164 feet from where it was previously grounded
The iron scow was said to have moved about 164 feet from where it was previously grounded
Authorities said the scow flipped on it's side and spun around during the Thursday night storm
Authorities said the scow flipped on it's side and spun around during the Thursday night storm
The iron scow is pictured here in its original resting position, as it had been for 101 years
The iron scow is pictured here in its original resting position, as it had been for 101 years

'What we think has happened now is it's turned and twisted in the very heavy current flow of the river and is stuck where it is now,' Hill added. 

Winds were said to have reached 52mph in Niagara Falls during the storm. 

Instagram user @noellecsinclair posted images of the scow in its new position on Saturday, noting that 'It was hard to tell how much it moved until you approached it from the other view. It moved a lot! It does look solidly wedged again. But very cool!'

The iron scow is said to be in badly deteriorating over the course of the 101 years since it was grounded in the shallow water near Toronto Generating Power Station in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  

It 80-foot boat was got stuck after breaking loose from its tugboat during a dredging operation in August 1918. The scow then drifted and headed directly for the falls. 

To prevent the boat from going over, the scow's two crewmen opened the dumping doors, which allowed the boat to get trapped on a bed of rocks beneath the shallow, rushing water.  

The US Coast Guard and local Canadian authorities managed to carry out a dramatic rescue operation for the two men who were trapped aboard the scow. 

The scow (pictured in August 2018) was grounded on the rocks about 2,000 feet from the Niagara's Horseshoe Falls after it broke free from its tugboat in August 1918
 The scow (pictured in August 2018) was grounded on the rocks about 2,000 feet from the Niagara's Horseshoe Falls after it broke free from its tugboat in August 1918
Two crew members were aboard the scow (pictured in its old position) when it broke free. They opened its dumping doors, which allowed the boat to get stuck on the rocks
Two crew members were aboard the scow (pictured in its old position) when it broke free. They opened its dumping doors, which allowed the boat to get stuck on the rocks
A historical image of the iron scow as it appeared in its original position off the Ontario coast
A historical image of the iron scow as it appeared in its original position off the Ontario coast
The iron scow is now an estimated 164 feet closer to the edge of the famed Horseshoe Falls
The iron scow is now an estimated 164 feet closer to the edge of the famed Horseshoe Falls 

The boat itself was left in place as it was decided that a salvage operation was not feasible, the Niagara Parks said.  

The scow has remained in the same spot - about 2,000 feet - from the edge of the Horseshoe Falls since then, according to the Buffalo News

After being moved by the storm, the boat became grounded again on a different set of rocks. 

'It could be stuck there for days or it could be stuck there for years. It’s anyone’s guess,' Hill said in the video.  

The Niagara Parks Police told The Standard that it has contacted Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Maid of the Mist, Ontario Power Generation, the New York State Power Authority and New York State Parks Police to ensure that the tour operators and state agencies were aware that the scow had moved. 

'We don't believe any of the scow would actually float but we notified (the other agencies) to let them know in case pieces are capable of being swept away from its original site,' chief of the Niagara Parks Police Paul Forcier said. 

Niagara Parks CEO David Adames told CBC that the scow 'looks secure at the moment; however, if there's severe weather that comes along, it may shift it some more.' 

The agency plans to document the boat's move via photographs and geo-location and will be keeping a constant eye on it via a security camera.   


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