Drone video shows how far barge trapped above Horseshoe Falls moved in storm

Niagara Parks Commission has determined exactly how far strong winds and rains shifted a historic iron scow at the top of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls last Thursday — which had been stuck in the same place for more than 100 years.

Using geo-location technology, it was determined one end of the scow,  which is similar to a barge, moved 33 metres closer to Canada’s Horseshoe Falls, and the other moved 43 metres closer, a Niagara Parks spokesperson confirmed in an interview Wednesday. 

A Halloween night storm was severe enough to roll the deteriorated dumping scow and send it northwest from its original resting place and closer the edge of the falls.

The scow became lodged in the upper rapids above the falls after it broke away from its towing tug on Aug. 6, 1918. It shifted down the Niagara River on Friday after sitting stationary for more than 100 years.

Niagara Parks engineers and police are continuing to closely monitor the scow via security camera, but for now the commission believes it’s “stuck” in place. 

If it does seem like the scow will go over the falls, David Adames, the parks commission CEO previously told CBC News, authorities will be notified so that precautions for tourism can be taken.

Over the past century, the scow has become incredibly rusted. The side facing the Canadian side is now the only one that’s intact, Adames said.

News of the shift garnered international attention. And now, the drone footage gives an idea of the scope of the historic move.

This image shows the Iron Scow in its new position downstream of where it lay for 100 years and closer to the falls. (Niagara Parks Commission)

In 1918 when the scow broke loose, two crew members onboard halted the vessel before it reached the falls, by opening its bottom dumping doors, which grounded it on some rocks around 600 metres from the edge. 

It took several attempts that spanned more than a day to rescue the two men. They were eventually saved with the help of Niagara Parks police, Niagara Falls fire and police departments, the U.S. Coast Guard and a First World War veteran — William (Red) Hill Sr.

The scow has been in the same place for over a century. It was the site of a historic rescue, where people came together to rescue two men who were stranded near the falls. (Niagara Parks Commission)

Rescuers shot a line out of a cannon from the roof of the powerhouse to the men on the day of the crash, and a heavier rope was tied to it. They tried to reel the men in via pulley, but their efforts temporarily failed when a tangle developed in the lines.

The next morning, the war veteran offered to go out and untangle the lines, which led to a heroic and historic rescue. 

The Iron Scow lodged in the Niagara River for more than 100 years has shifted positions due to the extreme weather conditions on Oct. 31. It is pictured here in its original position from video shot in 2018. (Niagara Parks Commission)

Read more at CBC.ca