Image of frozen waterfall inside house predates recent Texas winter storm

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A photo showing a frozen waterfall inside a house has been shared on social media with claims that it was taken in Texas during the recent devastating winter storm. This is false; the image has been on the internet since 2018, more than two years before unusually cold weather wreaked havoc in the southern United States.

“This happened in Houston today!,” reads a Facebook post published on February 18, 2021, with more than 3,000 shares.

Screenshot of the false Facebook post, taken on February 24, 2021

Another Facebook post, this one with more than 250 shares, features the caption: “Houston is Freezing right now!”

Screenshot of the false Facebook post, taken on February 24, 2021

The same claim was also shared here on Twitter, adding that this was the result of frozen water pipes that had burst.

Old photo

A reverse image search on Google shows that the image was shared online back in 2019 (here and here) and 2018 (here and here), long before the recent winter storm in Texas. Some posts claim it was taken in the state of New York, while others claim it was in Wisconsin.

While it is clear that the image is not recent, AFP Fact check has not been able to establish the location or origin of the picture.

AFP Fact Check has debunked other claims related to the Texas winter storm here and here.

Situation in Texas

Last week, Texas was hit hard as a frigid airmass paralyzed parts of the southern and central United States, claiming more than 70 lives. Millions of people were left temporarily without power and water lines were frozen.

Following the storm, US president Joe Biden issued a major-disaster declaration for much of Texas so as to provide badly-needed financial and administrative aid.

The state’s governor has ordered an investigation into its power grid operator, while several of the operator’s board members have resigned. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has also said it will probe the factors behind the power outages.