Fact Check: $11 Billion Dollar Border Wall Did NOT Blow Down In Hurricane Hanna

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: $11 Billion Dollar Border Wall Did NOT Blow Down In Hurricane Hanna Old Video
fakeperson.jpg

Did part of the border wall separating the United States from Mexico blow over during Hurricane Hanna? No, that's not true. Video purporting showing a section of the border wall in Texas blowing over with gale force winds during Hurricane Hanna was recorded when it was still under construction earlier, not late July, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "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," CBP said.

The claim originated as a post published on July 26, 2020 by a Facebook page named "Military Vanguard " (archived here) with following text:

$11 Billion Dollar Wall Built by the Lowest Bidder! :-/Hurricane "Hanna" hitting Texas has blown over part of a Border...

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Jul 27 19:28:41 2020 UTC)

Another Facebook post made a similar claim:

To make your day... Hurricane Hanna - just now - blowing over Trump's mighty border wall between the United States and Mexico.... (Climate Change to Trump - ignore me at your peril baby!)

To make your day... Hurricane Hanna - just now - blowing over Trump's mighty border wall between the United States and Mexico.... (Climate Change to Trump - ignore me at your peril baby!)

Posted by Blair Palese on Sunday, July 26, 2020
Here is a screen grab from the video of a wall section falling.
image (7).png

In a statement released to Lead Stories via email on July 27, 2020, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection press office said:

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. 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. That project is funded by the Department of Defense using 2808 Military Construction Funds, so any questions regarding the incident should be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

According to the Department of Defense "2808 Military Construction Funds" refers to the code and not a year.

From the transcript of the DOD Briefing on Use of 2808 MILCON Funds for Construction of the Border Wall, SEPT. 3, 2019:

We're here to provide an update on the use of 2808 MILCON [military construction] funds for construction of necessary border wall along the U.S. southern border. We will walk through the process the department took to reach a decision on whether to use that funding, and what the final decision is.

On Feb. 15, 2019, the president declared a national emergency at the southern border, requiring the use of the armed forces and authorizing the use of Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 2808."

Here is a longer video found on YouTube posted on July 26, 2020.

The Tweet that apparently kicked off the rumor was posted by a Twitter account that belongs to a "Yadith Valdez" on July 26, 2020 but it has been deleted since. However it is archived here at the internet Archive and according to Google Translate from Spanish to English said:

And so, "Hanna" knocked down part of the border wall that is being built between the United States and Mexico. For the fury of nature, there are no borders. ...

But, according to CBP, the sections depicted were toppled by winds weeks ago, well before Hurricane Hanna happened.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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