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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher February 19, 2021

No, that indoor ice-mass photo is not from the February 2021 Texas winter storms

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  • The photo was widely shared starting in January 2018 and appears to be from Watertown, N.Y.

Winter Storm Uri recently unleashed record snow, ice and cold on large parts of the country. Widespread power outages, burst pipes and flooding, grocery shortages, boil water advisories and at least 31 deaths were left in its wake.

Among the states hit hardest was Texas. Beginning Feb. 15, millions of people were left without power and heat amid single-digit temperatures.

A photo widely circulated on Facebook showed a large mass of ice, apparently from burst pipes, hanging inside of a kitchen. One poster who shared the image on Feb. 17 wrote: "Someone’s house in Houston Texas." That post was shared 12,000 times.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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The first comment on the post says the photo is from years ago. But others commenting simply expressed horror at the image.

The photo does not depict damage from the February storm.

A TinEye reverse image search shows the photo was shared online as early as 2018. The earliest post we could find is a Reddit thread that started Jan. 8, 2018. It suggests that the image shows a burst water pipe in Watertown, N.Y., which at least one local media outlet covered.

We rate the post False.

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No, that indoor ice-mass photo is not from the February 2021 Texas winter storms

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