The claim: A hurricane in south Texas knocked down a border wall
Tropical Storm Hanna hit southeast Texas on Saturday, inflicting the region with 90 mph winds, heavy rains and torrential flooding. Tremendous damage resulted, including, as one viral video claims, collapse of a portion of the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Shared on Sunday via social media, the video shows gusty winds knocking down several sections of high wall as construction workers and other personnel look on. The video was originally posted on Twitter by Yadith Valdez, a multimedia television journalist based in Monterrey, Mexico; Valdez alleged the hurricane was responsible.
"And so, 'Hanna' knocked down part of the border wall that is being built between the United States and Mexico," said the tweet's caption, translated from Spanish to English. "For the fury of nature, there are no borders."
Although Valdez would later delete her tweet, the video soon made its way to Facebook.
Neither Valdez nor Military Vanguard, one of the Facebook channels that shared the video, returned USA TODAY's request for comment.
Another place, another time
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which was alerted to the video shortly after it circulated, the time and location of the clip has been misattributed.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not aware of any border wall panels falling over due to Hurricane Hanna hitting the Rio Grande Valley Sector this past weekend,” read a statement emailed to the Associated Press by agency spokesperson Roderick Kise. “The video circulating on social media appears to be from June 2020, when high winds caused several border wall panels that were pending additional anchoring to fall over at a construction site near Deming, New Mexico.”
Kise stated that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was involved in the construction of the border wall, a project funded by the Department of Defense using 2808 Military Construction Funds.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed the video but had no information regarding who filmed it, Corps spokeswoman Raini Brunson said.
"The incident involving the unexpected high wind gust, which knocked over the barrier panels, occurred on June 5th,” Brunson wrote in an email to the Associated Press.
Brunson elaborated that after the wall panels blew down, “the contractor revised its barrier panel-bracing procedures and work has continued on the project without further incident.”
Our ruling: False
We rate the claim that a border wall in south Texas collapsed due to winds from Hurricane Hanna as FALSE because it was not supported by our research. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirm that a video showing the wall falling dates back to June and occurred at a construction site near Deming, New Mexico.
Our fact-check sources:
- Caller Times, "Hurricane Hanna likely did not knock down Trump border wall, feds say. Here’s what we know"
- USA TODAY, "Hurricane updates: Hanna makes landfall in Texas; Douglas prompts hurricane warning for Oahu"
- Good Morning America, "Hurricane Hanna wreaks havoc in Texas"
- Associated Press, "Video does not show Hurricane Hanna leveling border wall"
- Federation of American Scientists, "DoD Fact Sheet on Section 2808 Funding Pool"
- Lead Stories, "Fact Check: $11 Billion Dollar Border Wall Did NOT Blow Down In Hurricane Hanna"
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Hurricane Hanna did not collapse U.S. border wall in Texas