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The claim: Photo shows a car stuck after the Buffalo snowstorm
A lake-effect snowstorm covered Buffalo, New York, with more than six feet of snow starting the evening of Nov. 17. It has been blamed for at least three deaths.
On Nov. 20, a social media user posted an image of a car stuck in the middle of a large mound of snow.
“Only in Buffalo!” read the Facebook post, which was shared more than 2,000 times in one day. “Dude (sic) Where’s my Car ! (sic) – in Buffalo, New York,”
This claim is wrong, though. The photo is from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. It was staged by the Marion Auction, which holds monthly auctions for farm and construction equipment, in 2021.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the post for comment.
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Car photo was staged in 2021
Every year Marion Auction creates a large snow pile, places a non-running vehicle in it and then covers it with more snow, said Brian Oaks, a part-owner of the auction. Normally, the company hangs a large sign on it with reminders like, “Don’t text and drive” or “Don’t drink and drive,” Oaks said.
More:Buffalo lake-effect snowstorm: 2 deaths blamed on snow clearing; 4 feet of snow expected
However, in 2021 the company didn’t have a chance to put the sign up before Oaks’ brother posted a TikTok of the staged scene and it went viral.
From there, someone must have taken a still image from the video, Oaks said, because the company hasn’t posted it anywhere else.
He says it is “amazing” that it resurfaced this year, and believes it is because there was no sign and “no explanation.”
While there have been crashes in Buffalo from this storm, including one that killed a snowplow driver, this image does not depict one of them.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a photo shows a car stuck after the Buffalo snowstorm. The photo was staged by a Pennsylvania auction company in 2021.
Our fact-check sources:
- Brian Oaks, Nov. 21, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- USA TODAY, Nov. 18, What is lake effect snow? Explaining how it brings such heavy snow
- USA TODAY, Nov. 21, Buffalo-area snowfall totals and what causes lake-effect snow
- USA TODAY, Nov. 19, Several feet of lake effect snow in Buffalo; snow storm continues
- TikTok, Feb. 3, 2021, Shit happens. #snowpile
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