While drastic, this technique to plug breached levees has been used in the past.
Historic, once-in-a-century floods caused by atmospheric rivers are sweeping through California, and its floodwaters are causing problems that are pushing Central Valley farmers to take drastic measures.
A video shared by Central Valley Farmer Cannon Michael, who goes by @AgLeader on the bird app, shows a farmer in the San Joaquin Valley forced to plug a broken levee by driving two perfectly good trucks, beds filled with dirt, right into the levee break.
Check out the never before seen on video flood control measure for yourself below.
I have never seen this type of #flood control measure before! Here is how some farmers deal with a breach in the Tulare Lake bottom. I assume they will pile some additional dirt on. #cawater #cawx #farm #agriculture pic.twitter.com/QXP720RqjJ— Cannon Michael (@agleader) March 14, 2023
Michael has purposely left out where he got the video, the farmer’s name, and the exact location.
In the video, we see the farmer put a Chevrolet Silverado in to drive, it’s bed filled with dirt, letting the truck drive forward into the levee break.
The Silverado lands next to what looks like a Ford F-150, presumably driven in moments before in the exact same way.
Tulare Lake Bottom is an area of farming land in the San Joaquin Valley that, before the area was artificially drained for agriculture in the late 19th century, was an actual, freshwater lake.
What would’ve been the shores of Tulare Lake is still somewhat visible via satellite, what was once a body of water is now parceled out farmland.
While the man-made system of dams and levees have controlled rain and snowmelt coming in from nearby rivers and streams, as mentioned, historic flooding, has pushed sections of levees to failure.
Ideally a farmer would plug this levee with mounds of dirt but with time of the essence and his fields set to be damaged by floodwaters presumably within hours, as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.
It’s not a perfect solution, but it does buy the farmer some time for floodwaters to naturally subside or to be artificially pumped out.
According to replies to this tweet, Tulare Lake and its surrounding area have flooded before, the latest floods in 1969 causing farmers to do what this farmer did, reinforcing levees with old, broken down cars.
Tulare lake bottom has a long history of shoring up levees with vehicles. I heard yesterday some farmers were offer cash to their workers for their cars to do this very thing. pic.twitter.com/EpvsNxqly8— MrSubsidiarity (@MrSubsidiarity) March 14, 2023
The latest forecasts have rain ending in that general area sometime later today (March 14) with three days of no rain followed by a week of various levels of precipitation so, these farmers aren’t out of the woods just yet.
Hopefully these emergency levee plugs save this farmer’s agricultural land, as ruined fields can spell disaster for the upcoming growing season.