California Farmers Plugged a Broken Levee With Pickup Trucks To Stop a Flood

Turned a Chevy into a levee, now the levee's alright.
A Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150 with their beds full of dirt plug up a break in a levee at a pistachio orchard
Twitter | @agleader

Sometimes you drive your Chevy to the levee, but the levee ain’t dry: it has broken open from record rainfall. In that case, all you can do to stop the flood is fill your Chevrolet Silverado with dirt and drive it directly into the water, as Californian farmers were filmed doing this week.

The video was reportedly filmed in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the source of about an eighth of the state’s agricultural output. According to Yale Climate Connection, California has already had one of the wettest winters on record, and storms over the last week have pushed many waterways over their banks. The widespread flooding resulting therefrom has reportedly caused billions of dollars in projected damages, including in the Tule River watershed area depicted in the video here according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The levee shown in the video reportedly protected a pistachio orchard. After partially washing out, it became the subject of emergency repairs not just involving, but made from pickup trucks. In the video, farmers fill a Chevy Silverado’s bed with dirt before slotting the truck into drive and rolling it into the water. It joins a Ford F-150 evidently used the same way, and the two trucks together succeed in blocking most of the hole in the levee.

A followup photo of the repairs shows the embankment fully repaired, with dirt shoveled over top to stem the flooding once and for all.

At least the Chevy wasn’t drained of pollutants (such as gasoline) before being entombed, though the video’s uploader Michael Cannon says the pickup will be recovered when floodwaters recede. Whether it will be operable remains to be seen, but the sacrifice of a truck is a small price to pay for saving an entire orchard.

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