Ford and Chevy pickups help California farmers stop levee breaches

Ford and Chevy pickups help California farmers stop levee breaches

As you may know, drought-ravaged California has had so much rain lately that they’ll be skiing at Tahoe by August and the lower elevations are starting to look like a Louisiana bayou. Systems calibrated to deal with the predicted amount of rain (read: not much) are failing, as exemplified by a particular levee in the Tulare Lake Basin, an agricultural region in the San Joaquin Valley.

The problem with the chronically dry Tulare Lake is that it likes to reappear periodically after heavy rains, which well clog up the complex water-distribution system that feeds the ranch. And yesterday, after a dike failed, local farmers came up with a quick and inspired solution: Drive some trucks into the crack.

The idea immediately raises a number of questions, particularly whether the area’s two least-favorite half-ton trucks will be heavy enough to hold back floodwaters. To get around that problem, our dam-building masters filled the beds of trucks—a Chevrolet Silverado and a Ford F-150—with amounts of dirt certainly beyond their rated payloads, a disgrace that was bound to happen. would seem trivial in comparison. next.

In this video posted on twitter By farmer Kenan Michael, we see the F-150 already submerged in the Levee Gap, its bed and roof covered in thick-looking mud. “How did they do this?” you can ask. Well, we see how they did that a moment later when the Silverado makes the ultimate sacrifice and joins the Ford for a quick dip.

Less safety-conscious fellows might try to have some kind of stuntman drop and roll through the driver’s side door as the truck is headed for its watery demise, but these guys seem to have a different (and surprising effective) plan was: put something heavy on the accelerator, drop the transmission into gear, and stand back up.

It appears that the Chevy has a column shifter, which makes this trick a little less dangerous, but our muddy hero still needs to step lively once the LS V-8 goes into drive. Which he does, stepping back temporarily to admire the autonomous Silverado making its short trip from the top of the levee to the bottom, where it registers against the F-150 and actually reverses the floodwaters. direction prevents access to the garden. Anyway, people in the video seem happy with the result.

Given more time and heavier equipment, they could have taken a slightly different route. According to a 1997 story Los Angeles TimesIn 1969, the Tulare Lake embankments were reinforced with crushed cars during a flood. but they were probably not driven under their own power. We can all agree that this is the novelty here.

We hope the plan works and the truck-based dam stops. But if, a few months from now, you see a blue Silverado or an extended-cab F-150 4×4 for sale in the San Joaquin Valley real cheap, maybe pay extra attention to that pre-purchase inspection.

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Ezra Dyer is a car and driver Senior editor and columnist. He is now based in North Carolina but still remembers how to turn right. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and once went 206 mph. Those facts are mutually exclusive.

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