Fortunately, Bill Zang recently found himself equipped with all four things. At a few minutes after 3 p.m. on Saturday he killed the hovercraft’s engines and floated toward the Coca-Cola warehouse on the northern edge of Beaumont. At the back gate, Zang hacked the lock with a saw, then his friend Sam Byers slammed the lock with a hammer.

The lock broke. The gate swung wide. Both men laughed.

“This is so much fun!” said Byers, happy finally to find water in Beaumont, where the water treatment plant had been offline for two days.