Hurricane Ian, which has claimed at least 85 lives in the US so far, continues to be under social media spotlight with users sharing images and videos linked to the same. Some visuals that were widely shared on social media claiming to show the aftermath of the hurricane were actually old and unrelated. Newschecker debunked such visuals last week. The same can be seen here and here.
Now, a video showing young children carrying school bags, walking down a flooded corridor is being shared widely online. To avoid the children from getting wet, the adults can be seen guiding them to the exit, making them walk on benches which have been laid out in a straight line.
Those who shared the video claim to show visuals from a school in Florida which remained open on Tuesday (a day before Hurricane Ian made landfall). Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Several social media users shared the video claiming, “Florida schools was still open during the start of the hurricane (sic)”
On carefully analysing the video, we noticed that the children were walking on blue- and red-colour benches arranged in a straight line. Taking this as a clue, we conducted a keyword search for “student walk on benches,” & “flooded” on Google which led us to a Facebook post by FOX 26 Houston, dated September 21, 2019.
The post carried a 30-second-long-video with the caption “Students walk on benches at Durham Elementary School after campus floods.” On comparing this video with the viral clip claiming to show the situation at a Florida school, we could conclude that both of them were from the same incident.
The Facebook post further elaborated, “HISD’s Durham Elementary School floods after Imelda’s relentless rain. Young students walked on benches to stay dry from the high water. Kudos to the quick-thinking teachers that kept them safe!”
Notably, Imelda was a tropical Storm that hit southeastern Texas in September 2019.
Following this, we looked up “Durham Elementary School, “Students” & “Imelda” on Google which yielded a Daily Mail report, dated September 20, 2019. Displaying visuals from the said incident, the report stated, “Teachers at a Houston school flooded by Tropical Storm Imelda had to get creative to ensure their kids managed to traverse the halls and get to safety. After nearly four feet of rain fell onto the beleaguered city, Durham Elementary School staff turned benches into elevated walkways to allow the children to walk without getting wet.”
Notably, news outlets reported that several schools and colleges in Florida had cancelled their classes ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian. We were not independently able to verify if all the schools were shut down, and the duration of the same. However, these particular visuals are from 2019 and were recorded in Houston.
Viral post claiming to show conditions at a Florida school ahead of Hurricane Ian’s arrival is false. Viral video was shot at a school in Houston in 2019.
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