U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed that the video claiming to show Hurricane Hanna knocking down a section of the southern border wall this weekend was misattributed. A representative of the agency told Snopes that the video was filmed last month in New Mexico, not in Texas. While it does not show what many people believed it did, it has been verified as real footage of the border wall toppling.
The video in question made waves this weekend as many social media users were led to believe it showed Hurricane Hanna blowing over a section of the border wall President Donald Trump has long promised to complete. However, CBP spokesperson Roderick Kise said that "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." This fact detracts from the jokes on social media personifying Hurricane Hanna as some kind of vengeful force, though the result is still damage to the controversial wall.
"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," Kise said. Another spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Raini Brunson, gave a similar statement to The Associated Press.
"The incident involving the unexpected high wind gust, which knocked over the barrier panels, occurred on June 5th," Brunson wrote in an email. He added that afterward, "the contractor revised its barrier panel-bracing procedures and work has continued on the project without further incident."
The video went viral this weekend after it was posted by Mexican journalist Yadith Valdez, who was covering the hurricane's impact on the Gulf of Mexico. Valdez deleted the tweet soon after it was called into question, but it continued to circulate anyway.
Authorities questioned the legitimacy of the video right away, as Kise noted: "the hurricane hit is at nighttime, but looks like it was shot during the day." He also said that the terrain did not look like the lower Rio Grande Valley, based on his experience.
The southern border wall remains one of the most iconic promises of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. With the 2020 election approaching, many pundits are checking his progress in this arena and wondering how it will impact the minds of his supporters.