With The Imminent Opening Of The Morganza Spillway Beware Of Hoaxes And Misinformation
As we prepare for the calculated opening of the Morganza Spillway, be prepared for fake news.
Do you remember "the Morganza snake" that was spotted near the spillway back when they last opened it in 2011? It's a photo that was shared hundreds of thousands of times, warning people of the types of animals that would be looking to find higher ground once the waters began to rush in.
It is true. On Sunday (June 2) wildlife will be seeking higher ground and more than likely will end up displaced in habitats that will be very unfamiliar. While we must take caution and be aware of these animals wandering into populated areas, we must also take caution before sharing any more "Morganza snake" type stories.
By the way, that snake you see in the photo above was never near the Morganza spillway or Louisiana for that matter. It wasn't even in the country. According to Snopes, that widely-shared photo is actually a statue in New South Wales, Australia.
This photograph of a large snake first hit our inbox in May 2011, when it was most commonly described as a picture of a creature that was loosed in Louisiana when the Morganza Spillway was opened to relieve flooding pressures along the Mississippi River. It has also been circulated with text identifying it as a King Brown snake photographed in New South Wales (NSW), Australia; a black mamba from South Africa; and
a snake (of unidentified species) spotted in “Delray [Beach], near Tamarac, Florida.”
The identification of the Australian locale appears to be correct, but not the snake’s status as a genuine example of reptilian wildlife. According to a discussion thread on reddit, the snake is a sculpture situated alongside Uralba Street in Alstonville, NSW, where one of the site’s member photographed herself with the artwork in January 2012:
Snake hoaxes aren't the only fake news stories or misinformation to look out for. Last night SLEMCO had to clarify news stories regarding when power would be turned off in areas that may be affected by flooding.
We'll be giving you updates before, during, and after the spillway opens—so make sure you grab the HOT 107.9 app and stay in the know.
For more information on displaced wildlife, check out this report from our media partners at KATC.