On April 10th, heavy thunderstorms wreaked havoc on the southern United States and New Orleans was hit particularly hard. With 70 mile per hour winds and more than 8 inches of rain, many roads became completely impassable, especially for smaller cars. Due to how quickly the rain accumulated, the city’s drainage pumps were unable to move the water fast enough or even generate enough power to fully operate the pumps.

Despite the high water levels in many areas, plenty of trucks and SUVs were out on the streets that day after being caught in the storm. One vehicle in particular captured the attention of AccuWeather’s social media team. A Tesla Cybertruck can be seen among the cars driving the flooded streets of New Orleans.

Get the best news, reviews, columns, and more delivered straight to your inbox, daily.
Sign Up Today

While the AccuWeather account seems to be calling out the Tesla driver in particular, it was not the only vehicle present on the same flooded street. Driving in flood waters can be dangerous no matter what vehicle you’re in, but the water levels here are not especially unusual for flash floods seen in Louisiana, Texas, and other Gulf Coast states. 

When possible, you should always shelter in a safe place. But if you happen to be caught in a sudden flood with nowhere to go, then there are probably worse vehicles you could be driving. The Cybertruck is even uniquely suited to such events thanks to its featured ‘Wade Mode’ which Tesla describes as allowing the Cybertruck "to enter and drive through bodies of water. This is especially useful when off-roading and you need to drive through water, such as rivers or creeks."

Elon Musk even once claimed that the Cybertruck could be used to “serve briefly as a boat” saying that it could cross “lakes & seas that aren’t too choppy”. But it’s quite clear that the Cybertruck is not capable of this in any way. Unless they are some very narrow, shallow seas.


Just last December, Musk said that the Cybertruck would eventually come with an optional "boat" mode. We're willing to bet this never comes to fruition, but even if it does, no currently delivered Cybertruck is capable of this. 


Tesla currently lists the maximum wade depth as 32 inches from the bottom of the tire. This mode sets the vehicle’s ride height to Very High and can be used for up to 30 minutes in high waters at very slow speeds. But Tesla also heavily cautions the use of this feature saying "It is your responsibility to gauge the depth of any body of water before entering. Damage or water ingress to Cybertruck as a result of driving in water is not covered by the warranty."

We have also seen the Wade Mode recently demonstrated in much higher water levels that resulted in damage to the vehicle. So don’t risk losing your life or hurting your $100,000 truck if you don't have to. Otherwise, AccuWeather will be forced to scold you too. 

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@insideevs.com