It has been a week since Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida and carved a path of destruction into the Carolinas, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.
At least 78 people have been confirmed dead from the storm: 71 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. Ian made landfall on the Caribbean island on Sept. 27, and in Florida a day later.
A video posted to TikTok and Twitter claimed to show a Florida school that remained open, with young students navigating through a flooded hallway by walking on top of benches. On TikTok, the video had more than 330,000 likes and over 20,000 shares.
Does a video show students inside a flooded school in Florida after Hurricane Ian?
- RevEye, a reverse image search tool
- News reports from September 2019
- Florida Department of Education
No, the video doesn’t show students inside a flooded school in Florida after Hurricane Ian. The video shows flooding at an elementary school in Houston, Texas, in 2019.
WHAT WE FOUND
The video doesn’t show a flooded hallway at a Florida school and wasn’t taken in 2022 during Hurricane Ian. It was taken in September 2019 in Houston, Texas.
Using RevEye, a reverse image search tool, VERIFY was able to trace the origin of the video to local and international news reports from the time. It was first published on Sept. 20, 2019.
According to the reports, the video was filmed at Durham Elementary School and submitted to video licensing company Storyful by a teacher who chose to remain anonymous.
“[The video] showed teachers jumping into action and doing what was necessary to make sure those students felt safe and secure,” the teacher told Storyful. “The students are the priority and nothing else mattered in that moment.”
The school flooded after Tropical Storm Imelda hit the Texas coast. In South Texas, the storm dropped between 30 and 44 inches of rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.
In Florida, schools in heavily hit areas are still closed until further notice. The Florida Department of Education has a running list of schools set to reopen after Hurricane Ian, with the first ones in six counties set to reopen on Oct. 4.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.