FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Ice Inside A Houston Home In February 2021?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows large icicles inside a house in Houston on Feb. 18.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The photo dates back to at least 2018 and appears to have been taken at a house in Upstate New York.

Fact Check:

Millions of people in Texas were left without electricity and water after the southern U.S. was struck by a winter storm last week, according to CBS News. Nearly one third of the state’s population was experiencing disrupted water service as of Feb. 22, CNN reported, with many people facing damage to water pipes and their homes.

A Feb. 18 image on Facebook purportedly shows a scene from “Houston today” featuring what looks like large icicles hanging from the ceiling in a kitchen. The floor is likewise covered in ice. (RELATED: Did Ted Cruz Tweet, ‘I’ll Believe In Climate Change When Texas Freezes Over’?)

Through a reverse image search, however, Check Your Fact discovered that the image does not actually show a scene from the recent winter storm. The image was shared on Reddit in January 2018 with the caption: “This is what happens in my hometown when you don’t leave the faucet trickling in the winter. Pipes bursting in Watertown, NY.”

New York country music radio station Big Frog 104 also published an article about the Reddit post three days after it appeared. The article includes a quote that reads, “As far as I know, a property owned by Bennett Realty had the heat shut off and didn’t also turn the water off and drain the pipes, so they burst in subzero temperatures and that’s why they froze like that.”

“This picture was taken like 3 years ago and it was of frozen pipes in a house in upstate ny,” Bennett Realty agent Nikole Roshia told Check Your Fact via email. “It was a house that was under management at Bennett Realty Group.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said on Feb. 19 that it was waiving some fees and testing requirements for plumbers with expired licenses and granting provisional permits to plumbers from out of state to help meet the demand of residents with damaged pipes, NBC 5 Dallas reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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