Paterson's Great Falls shut off

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In Paterson, New Jersey, lies the Great Falls, the second largest waterfall in the Northeast, behind Niagara Falls. The waterfall was shut down to be cleaned up on Thursday. It was an unusual sight for local folks.

Over time, debris like fallen trees, tires, and other garbage build up on the shore and river bed. Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission comes in to clean it all up.

The Great Falls happens to be one of the largest wastewater facilities in the country. This yearly cleanup is critical to the flow of the Passaic River.

The Great Falls became a national historic landmark in 1976 due to its history.

Alexander Hamilton, one of our country's founding fathers, founded the city of Paterson in 1792 to create the world's first city built around a hydropower system. And it all started with a picnic at the falls between Hamilton and George Washington. Hamilton molded Paterson into a pilot city for manufacturing.

Paterson ran on hydropower through the early 1900s until the water was needed for the city. Then the switch was made to steam and electrical power.

Today tourists are drawn to the falls for its beauty.

The falls will be fully running again Friday.