Fact Check

Does This Picture Show Daytona International Speedway Flooded?

If you've seen one hurricane picture online, you've seen them all.

Published Oct 7, 2016

A photograph shows Daytona International Speedway flooded during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
What's True

A photograph shows Daytona International Speedway flooded from heavy rains.

What's False

The photograph was taken in May 2009, not during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

As Hurricane Matthew bore down on the United States' east coast in October 2016, a photograph purportedly showing a flooded Daytona International Speedway in Florida began circulating on social media:

daytona flood

Although this image is real, it has no connection to Hurricane Matthew or events of October 2016. The photograph was actually taken by Jim Foreman back in May 2009, during a period of heavy rains in the Daytona Beach area:

Daytona Beach, Fla., has received more than 17 inches of rain since Sunday, and the water level inside the race track is rising.

Photos taken by AutoWeek reader Jim Foreman show that parts the race surface have flooded, with water levels as much as halfway up the protective SAFER barrier that lines the walls. Also, the tunnel under the track that provides access to the infield is flooded.

Social media sites are often inundated with photographs during hurricanes, blizzards, and other extreme weather events that, although real, were taken in different times and places than claimed. Inevitably old or fake photographs are tossed into the mix, as was the case during Hurricane Patricia, Hurricane Isabel, Hurricane Lili, and Hurricane Hermine.

The Daytona International Speedway closed in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, but the facility had not reported any major flooding as of this writing.


Jewett, Dale.   "Heavy Rains Flood Daytona Speedway."     Autoweek.   21 May 2009.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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