Frozen Niagara Falls
Frozen Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls frozen in time amid Arctic chill (VIDEO)

The ‘polar vortex’ hitting the U.S. with insanely-low temperatures has also offered the opportunity for some incredible photos — and now we’ve got some from Niagara Falls.

At the falls, where the temperature has been hovering in the low teens, Reuters photographer Aaron Harris took these shots of a partially frozen area of the U.S. side on Wednesday.

According to CBS, Reuters fueled much of the Internet’s collective confusion when it reported “parts of the 176 foot American falls were covered in ice and the area below the conservation area was frozen over. The cold weather caused the Niagara river to form an ‘ice bridge,” and “large amounts of ice up river from the falls lead authorities to issue a flash flood warning for two islands in the area.”

Gizmodo points out tourists used to be allowed to walk on the ice bridge and look at the falls below when it froze in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, visitors were restricted from the area after the “bridge” broke in 1912 and three people died.

Niagara Falls native Caitlin Dewey wrote in The Washington Post that the majestic winter scene is nothing new, and the waterfall will never be frozen solid:

“…Ice floes and giant icicles form on the falls, and in the Niagara River above and below the falls, every year [but] as for the claim that the falls could ‘freeze over,’ that’s just sort of ridiculous. Nearly 76,000 gallons of water flow over the American and Bridal Veil falls every second, at a speed of 32 feet per second. It would take a lot more than a few days of cold weather to completely shut that off.”





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