Algae -a danger to vehicles at fords

A bus being rescued by a tow truck from algae-covered Lotopa Ford

A bus being rescued by a tow truck from algae-covered Lotopa Ford

Alan Ah Mu

APIA: TUESDAY 04 FEBRUARY 2014: Another car killer has emerged at fords other than flood waters.

It is algae.

Quick growing algae that have built up on the cement base of Lotopa Ford pose a danger to motor vehicles that cross even when flood waters have subsided.

A bus and an Explorer were rescued last week by tow trucks as slippery algae made them slide towards the edge of the ford.

Both drivers were forced to stop their vehicles before they slid into the stream, and cross by foot to seek help tow truck operators.

The water at the time was only angle-deep.

“There needs to be barrier to stop vehicles from sliding off,” said tow truck operator Orlando Keil.

A few days after Keil had pulled out a ready-made bus early last week he did the same with a Ford Explorer several days later.

Only this time he had to call in a rival to help.

Keil’s winch from his truck held the Explorer in place at one end of the ford while the other tow truck pulled it safely to the other side.

If only one truck had pulled the Explorer the stranded vehicle would have slid into the stream – the ford was that slippery from the algae.

Luckily for the troubled vehicles two truck companies are based in Lotopa – and their drivers had the presence of mind to stop when things got slippery.

Flood waters have swept off over 10 motor vehicles from the ford in the last two years.

Now there is a new danger.

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