Home » What Don McLean Really Meant By Driving His Chevy To The Levee In ‘American Pie’: COTD

What Don McLean Really Meant By Driving His Chevy To The Levee In ‘American Pie’: COTD


Yet another atmospheric river is slamming California, forcing residents to evacuate as floodwaters rise, roads crumble, and the land falls apart. According to the Los Angeles Times, this is actually the 11th atmospheric river to hit the state just this season and Californians are having to brace over and over.

The Los Angeles Times describes what’s going on:

The rain was expected to continue into Wednesday across Southern California, which saw rainfall records Tuesday. Los Angeles International Airport, downtown L.A., and the Santa Monica and Long Beach airports all recorded new daily rainfall totals. Santa Barbara Airport’s record was the biggest, with 2.54 inches of rain.

About 336,000 households across the state were without power as of Tuesday afternoon, according to data compiled by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The majority of those households were in Santa Clara County, which had about 128,000 customers without power.

In downtown San Francisco, a shelter-in-place order was instituted for the area around a 52-story skyscraper at 555 California St. One window was blown out amid winds of up to 50 mph and another was damaged on the 43rd floor of what was previously called the Bank of America building.


Things are getting desperate. Levees are failing, flooding small towns and destroying crops. Farmers in the Los Banos region got desperate enough to send a Ford F-150 and a Chevrolet Silverado into a levee breach. While their choice to fill a hole with trucks seems odd, it apparently worked, as they were able to rebuild the levee, saving an orchard on the other side. And don’t think that those trucks will be there forever. Once all of this is over, the farmers plan on recovering their vehicles.

Admittedly, when I read “Chevy” and “levee” in the same story so close together, my mind went straight to Don McLean’s American Pie.

You know the line: “Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.”

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to think this, as I’m seeing a number of people putting out their own variation of the line on Twitter. Over here, StillNotATony takes COTD with:

“So my Chevy’s now the levee and my town is still dry.”

A bunch of you are jokesters, so we have some honorable mentions today. From mdharrell:

“This is a last-ditch effort…”

That makes sense. If there was another ditch then it wouldn’t help much to dam just this one.

And Citrus, commenting on the same article:

Next month on the Autopian:

“I’m going to get these dam trucks dug up and repaired to drive to Moab!” By David Tracy

I would actually love to see that. Heck, I’d love to help clear the mud out and mess around with the electronics!

In all seriousness, tossing trucks into a hole probably wasn’t the best solution, but it appears to have done its job. The levee is filled in and it looks like things are getting better. So, good job at making a desperate solution work.

Have a good evening, everyone!

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11 Responses

  1. Sierra-at-Tahoe has had 625 inches of snow so far this season, and the chair lifts are buried in snow.
    Los Angeles complains about two and a half inches of rain. Boo hoo hoo for LA.
    All my life we have had rain, snow and the occasional warm tropical rain storm in Northern California. Now they call them “atmospheric rivers”. The truth is that we have had them for decades, probably many centuries. Things will dry out, and your orchard will probably appreciate the water. The world will keep turning. Unfortunately, though, everywhere the droughts are longer and hotter and the wet seasons are wetter and less frequent.

  2. “In all seriousness, tossing trucks into a hole probably wasn’t the best solution, but it appears to have done its job. ”

    My family motto is “If it’s stupid, but works, it isn’t stupid.”

    1. It’s not like there was a ready supply of truck-massed boulders around to plug that breach. This actually was the best solution although I had my doubts about the trucks remaining there until they could get buried.

    1. Now that you set the bar, we expect some deep cut cites from time to time too! Pre-Roger Waters Pink Floyd, any Rush that’s not from Moving Pictures, that kinda thing…

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