With all of the unbelievable images and stories coming out of Houston during Tropical Storm Harvey, it’s easy to believe just about anything you see or hear. But as with any big news event, there are plenty of hoaxes out there. The Houston Chronicle has taken the time to debunk some of the biggest ones.
- That image of a shark swimming on a Houston freeway is Photoshopped.
- No, immigration officials are not asking for ID for you to get into a shelter.
- The water has not been shut off in Houston or nearby Katy, Texas, and is still 100 percent safe to drink.
- A message is going around saying, “The National Guard is being deployed to our Texas area. If you find yourself in a state of emergency, call 1-800-527-3907.” But that number isn’t for the National Guard — it’s to a private insurance company in another state.
- Lots of scam artists will pop up in the aftermath of this storm. If it sounds too good — or too easy — to be true, it probably is. Just ask Sandy victims.
- Apparently that shark photo has gone around in previous floods in Houston.
- Fortunately, communications infrastructure is still in good shape. Rumors can be dangerous when people have no way to see if they’re true.