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Rockslide Closes Cave of the Winds

7:55 AM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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Niagara Falls, U.S.A. - One of Niagara Falls' most popular tourist attractions has shutdown for the season, a bit earlier than expected.

"This is definitely out of the ordinary," general park manager Tom Watt told 2 on Your Side, "we had a lot of disappointed people today." 

The rockslide happened sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning before any tour groups had entered the cave. Heavy rain caused about a dozen rocks to give way, some of the rocks were the size of small boulders. No one was injured.

Radar estimates show that up to 1.5 inches of rain fell Friday night.

However, bike rails were broken and a rail that separates visitors from the rocks was also hit. Plus, a walkway that leads people to the attraction and is usually busy was cluttered with debris.

"Fortunately because we were closed at the time, there was no input at risk in terms of injury, so we're thankful to that," said Watt.

Cave of the Winds was scheduled to close on October 24th, along with the Maid of the Mist.

John Petrovsky, a visitor to the falls said he was looking forward to seeing the cave during a short visit to the region.

On a scale of one to 10, Watt described the total damage done to Cave of the Winds as about a "three or four."

Watt says that crews routinely look for loose rocks that could fall. Park officials say that on any given Saturday about 650 people are at the falls, in part to see Cave of the Winds.

While all other attractions remain open at the falls, some people were disappointed they couldn't get as close to the water as they would've liked.

"How loud it is, how close you get to the water is something that you can't really get anywhere else," said Darina Mlkina, a visitor to the area.

Watt said the park will be hiring an outside organization to help clean up the rockslide and the damage should be cleaned up by the start of next season.

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