Wind Gusts Blew Over Part of Trump's Border Wall as the Concrete Was Drying — and Twitter Has Thoughts
Wind gusts in the area topped out at 39 mph, according to data from the National Weather Service
Mother nature huffed and puffed and … blew (part of) Trump’s border wall down.
Two sections of President Donald Trump‘s controversial border wall, which has stirred fierce debate since he started campaigning on its construction, on Wednesday tipped over in Calexico, California, as the concrete foundation dried.
Local TV station KYMA first shared video of the wall falling over. Their footage shows two sections of the wall tipped over against rows of trees on the Mexican side of the southern border.
Wind gusts in the area topped out at 39 mph, according to data from the National Weather Service.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson tells PEOPLE there were no injuries or property damage reported as a result of the wall falling over, which the spokesperson described as an “uncommon event.”
“The Santa Ana winds whipped up to nearly 40 MPH yesterday,” the spokesperson says. “These panels are 30 feet in height and have what’s called an anti-climb plate atop — this is what likely caught the winds.”
The panels were moved back to the U.S. side of the border on Wednesday and work is expected to continue on Thursday, according to CBP.
The spokesperson confirmed that the construction that blew over was “replacing old landing mat style fencing.”
Much of the border construction so far has actually been renovations of existing wall rather than brand new barrier — which continues to face obstacles such as wrangling with private landowners.
Funding, too, has been a challenge that has finally gone in the Trump administration’s favor.
Earlier this month, a federal appeals court allowed Trump to divert $3.6 billion from the federal military budget toward the construction of the wall — the subject of heated argument among voters and one of Trump’s 2016 campaign promises, which he notoriously premised, in part, on racist rhetoric about Mexico criminals and “rapists.”
This week, border wall critics were quick to jump on the footage of parts of the border wall falling over.
“This feels like a metaphor for this entire Presidency,” one Twitter user wrote.
Politicians who oppose the wall also jumped in to criticize Trump’s immigration policy and his loud boasts about its effectiveness.
Presidential candidate Tom Steyer tweeted a news story about the wall falling down while using the president’s own words to poke at the mishap: ” ‘I own buildings. I’m a builder; I know how to build. Nobody can build like I can build. Nobody. And the builders in New York will tell you that. I build the best product.’ – @realDonaldTrump“
It’s likely the border wall will be heavily debated in the upcoming presidential election as well, one border wall expert told PEOPLE earlier this month.
Democratic lawmakers have long said the border wall would be an expensive and ineffective immigration measure. But it’s not going anywhere.
“Given that building ‘the wall’ was Trump’s No. 1 campaign pledge, it is no surprise that he has been so obsessed with building it,” Peter Andreas, a border wall historian at Brown University, previously told PEOPLE. “It is still a long way off, so much so that ‘finish the wall’ will undoubtedly be a lead campaign pledge in the next election.”