This photo of Harvey flooding at Houston airport is totally fake

There’s all kinds of incredible and distressing imagery coming out of Hurricane Harvey, but as ever, you need to check before pressing E to pay respects.

The photo above is doing the rounds on social media, purportedly showing Houston airport after the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. It’s a staggering image — and not unbelievable, given the very real photos of flooded highways going around — but also totally fake.

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The picture was actually made by digital artist Nickolay Lamm for search engine company StorageFront as part of a series showing the effect on rising sea levels. The picture most widely being circulated shows what LaGuardia airport would look like after 25 feet of sea level rise, but there are others in the same series that show the effect of five feet and 12 feet of rise.

Workers at Houston airport have said on social media that although the airport is affected by the storm, it’s not anything like the image here. The FAA closed the airport to commercial traffic on Sunday, and all roads to and from the airport are also closed. That caused a number of Southwest passengers to become stranded at the airport, and the airline ended up airlifting them to safety on Sunday.

There are still a number of aircraft left on the ground at Hobby, Houston’s smaller airport. The FAA expects the airport to remain closed until August 30th at the earliest, although non-emergency flights do continue to operate.


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