Over the past week, Nebraska has endured historic flooding, causing widespread damage across the state. Despite some harrowing stories resulting from the floods, not all was lost, at least for two men who found a fridge full of cold beer in a field after floodwaters receded.
Snowmelt and heavy rain have sent the Missouri River pouring over and through levees in Nebraska, forcing the evacuation of towns. Many cities have declared states of emergency.
However, on Sunday two buddies set out to survey the flood damage on a farm near Linwood, where they were surprised to find a fridge sitting in a field, filled with “ice cold” beer.
Speaking to the Lincoln Journal Star, Kyle Simpson and Gayland Stouffer said they were walking back to their car when Stouffer spotted some debris in a field about 50 yards from what remained of the road.
Stouffer went to check it out.
“He says, ‘Hey, this is a refrigerator.’ And he opens it up and says, ‘It’s full of beer,’” Simpson explained to the newspaper.
“I said, ‘Yeah, right,'” Simpson continued. “And he reaches in and says, ‘It’s ice cold.’”
Naturally, the men set the fridge upright and cracked a few cans of ice-cold
water Busch Light and Bud Light. Simpson also took — according to the newspaper — his first-ever selfie, posing for photos with the magical find.
The photos of the men and the fridge ended up on a Facebook page dubbed “Nebraska Through the Lens,” where the images were shared thousands of times, and flooded with comments.
“Got a text message from the boys back at Duck Camp [ Lost Island ] The flood left plenty of damage but also left a surprise…. #NEBRASKASTRONG,” Tanner Podraza wrote in the photo post.
But, wait. There’s more!
Turns out, a Facebook group member said he recognized the fridge, and thought it may have been swept away from his family’s cabin near Lindwood.
“Sounds like we found the owner to the fridge! Where they are located and where it was found was about a 2 1/2 – 3 miles away,” Podraza said in the Facebook group.
Brian Healy told the Journal Star that when he saw the photos of the fridge and the mix of Bud Light, which his father apparently drinks, and the Busch Light, which the rest of his family enjoys, it seemed like a perfect match.
“It’s just a summer cabin, no heat to it,” Healy said. “But it had a full beer fridge; you always got to have one of those.”
Healy told the newspaper that not only did the fridge survive a flood, it also survived a house fire in 2007, when his parent’s home burned to the ground. The man said the fridge still worked following the fire, but the family moved it up to the cabin because they couldn’t get rid of the smell of smoke.
Many Facebook group members said the fridge find is a sign of hope and strength, with one declaring it a “divine intervention!”
“GOD IS GREAT BEER IS GOOD AND THIS WEATHER IS CRAZY,” Amy McMurry said.
“Brotherhood of the travelling beer fridge,” Brittany Slama said.
“There’s a silver lining to every storm,” Gaylon Halouska said.
Simpson told the newspaper he had spoken to Healy and promised the man he would return the family’s fridge. It’s unclear though, if it will be returned fully stocked with beer.