The nature of the internet has made it easy for certain trends to go viral. Perhaps the most common of these are images, especially those which are poorly sourced. One such case is the circulation of a photo showing the Daytona Speedway underwater, supposedly following Hurricane Matthew.
The photo in question shows the world-famous race track submerged in water that almost reached the upper half of the track’s fences. It has been shared by various pages on Facebook, often captioned and pointing at Hurricane Matthew as the cause of the flooding.
The photo is as convincing as could be, but fact-checking site snopes.com told its readers not to believe so quickly. In fact, the photo “should” be convincing because it is a real photo of the Daytona Speedway underwater, taken by a man named Jim Foreman. However, the photo was taken way back in 2009, and not October 2016 as most of the posts would have readers believe. The flooding in the picture was certainly not Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath.
Snopes cited an Autoweek article as proof for this debunking. Indeed, the photo in question was used as a feature image in an article that dates back to May 2009. It seems that the site has gotten wind of the situation, too. In effect, they added a disclaimer to the article to clarify that the photos were in fact taken on said year.
While the photo of the Daytona Speedway underwater was a case of wrong captioning, that is not to say that Hurricane Matthew left without consequence. Daytona has definitely been affected by the hurricane, as Florida is one state that has been hit hard. At landfall, the race track was reported “damaged,” along with moderate damage to surrounding structures. More importantly, the hurricane claimed the lives of six people, as well as hundreds in Haiti.
Recovery procedures have been ongoing ever since the dust settled. The race track has been closed for a couple of days, and it was reported that the Daytona Speedway management is doing the best it can to help with the recovery efforts.
— Daytona IntlSpeedway (@DISupdates) October 8, 2016
Image source: Twitter