What to expect in the Carolinas as Ian hits
After Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida, causing widespread flooding and devastation, a man in Fort Myers spotted something peculiar in the floodwater outside of his home. It looked like a shark fin peeking out of the water.
Dominic Cameratta quickly filmed the creature swimming between the homes in his neighborhood. In the past, people have claimed to have spotted sharks after hurricanes, but the Associated Press confirmed Cameratta did film this video in his backyard after the storm.
Cameratta told CBS News he woke up on Wednesday to see the pond in his backyard was starting to overflow from the rain. "It looked like there was a fish in there. I kind of zoomed in on it, I was kind of surprised," he said. He and his wife sent the video to friends, who passed it along to their friends.
Finned animal seen swimming in Florida floodwaters after Hurricane Ian
Florida officials are warning people to stay out of floodwaters left by Hurricane Ian – and one person in Fort Myers happened to capture a really good reason why. They filmed a creature swimming through a flooded neighborhood that many suspect was a shark. Storyful has corroborated the video, but after speaking with experts, the animal remains a mystery. https://cbsn.ws/3SrWIEEPosted by CBS News on Thursday, September 29, 2022
Someone posted the video online and it went viral, with many people having the same thought – a shark was swimming in the middle of a neighborhood.
Cameratta said his friend suggested it was a bull shark, which have been spotted in brackish water before. Bull sharks have even swum into landlocked states, by traveling from oceans into rivers, like the Mississippi, according to a study Marine & Fishery Sciences,
While it is impossible to tell if the finned animal he filmed was definitely a shark, George Burgess, former director of the Florida Museum of Natural History's shark program, told the Associated Press it "appears to be a juvenile shark."
However, Neil Hammerschlag, director of the University of Miami's shark conservation program, said "it's pretty hard to tell" if it was a shark. CBS News has reached out to several experts to try and help settle the debate.
Cameratta doesn't use social media, so he didn't know people have tried to fake shark sightings after hurricanes before. In 2017, a Twitter user posted a fake photo of a shark swimming on a freeway in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, and it went viral – despite being completely fabricated.
He said his dad joked that he should have fished the animal out of the water himself. "This has been such a stressful and scary and sad time with the hurricane, but the shark video has become something at least we can kind of laugh about now," he said.
Cameratta said his family stayed in the neighborhood during the hurricane but has since left. "Very scary," he said. "We had ladders in our living room, I didn't know if we'd have to climb onto the roof or not." He said while the water did rise around his house, it soon subsided.
"We didn't leave our house until the water went down around mid-morning the next day," Cameratta said. "We locked up our house for now and headed to the East Coast to get a shower and to get out of there."
Officials in Florida are warning residents to stay indoors and avoid going into floodwaters. Dangerous wildlife could be lurking in the water, and there have been reports of sewage, alligators and snakes in the floods, Collier County government tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
After hitting Florida this week as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Ian moved north and made landfall in South Carolina on Friday as a Category 1.
Caitlin O'Kane is a digital content producer covering trending stories for CBS News and its good news brand, The Uplift.
Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.
Create your free account or log in
for more features.