By: Praveen Kumar
August 23 2023
An old video from a Costco warehouse in Manchester, U.K., is being shared to claim it is footage from California during Hurricane Hilary.
In August 2023, Hilary, the first tropical storm in 84 years to affect southern California, flooded roads, downed trees and power lines, and caused mudslides and flash floods. Hilary, which hit Mexico as a hurricane, reached California as a rare tropical storm, causing Governor Gavin Newsom to declare an emergency on August 19 before it moved toward Oregon and Idaho.
What’s the claim?
Following this major weather event, social media users shared many videos attributing them to the hurricane. One such video is of what appears to be a supermarket ceiling pouring water from apparent leaks. An unseen person in the video can be heard saying, “It’s like a waterpark, isn’t it.” The captions circulated with the video claim it was filmed at an outlet of warehouse retailer Costco during Hurricane Hilary, along with hashtags about California.
The video circulating on X and TikTok. (Source: X/TikTok/Altered by Logically Facts)
Posts on Instagram and Facebook. (Source: Facebook / Instagram / Altered by Logically Facts)
However, this video predates Hurricane Hilary and does not originate from the United States.
What we found
We analyzed a screenshot of the video featuring the leaking supermarket roof and traced the video to a report published by Manchester Evening News in June 2023. The report featured the same footage and stated that heavy rain, thunder, and lightning affected parts of Greater Manchester, England. It added that the video was filmed at the Costco Warehouse on Barton Dock Road, Trafford Park, on June 12.
The Independent also reported on the incident at the Costco Warehouse in Manchester. Their report from June, titled “Costco turns into 'waterpark’ as thunderstorm floods Manchester store,” also carried the same video. We also found the same video published by the BBC on its YouTube channel, titled “Water pours through Costco ceiling in U.K. thunderstorms.” Further, BBC credited the video to an account called Manchester Honey Company.
The original video was shared on Instagram on June 12, 2023. (Source: Instagram / Altered by Logically Facts)
We found that the footage was originally uploaded to Instagram on June 12 by the account Manchester Honey Company with the caption, “We were shopping in Costco when the storm finally hit. The water was pouring through the roof. Eventually, they rang the fire alarm and evacuated everyone. It was like a waterpark. #storm #costco #manchester.” Manchester Honey Company is, as the name suggests, a Manchester-based honey-making company.
An old video from Manchester that shows water pouring through the ceiling at a Costco outlet during heavy rains in June 2023 has been recirculated, with claims it shows the effects of tropical storm Hilary in California in August 2023. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.