- After a day of cleaning his muddied property, Kyle Simpson, a Nebraska man, was craving a beer, he told the Lincoln Journal Star.
- As he and his friend Gayland Stouffer began to trek to their car, they saw what appeared to be a fridge.
- It was a fridge. And it was full of ice-cold beer.
- Their story went locally viral in Nebraska.
- Then, a stranger, Brian Healy, recognized the fridge as his family’s. It had gone missing in the flood.
You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes, as the saying goes, you get exactly what you need. That was certainly true for two Nebraska men who were really craving a beer after a long day of cleaning up a flood-damaged property near the Platte River.
Kyle Simpson and his friend Gayland Stouffer spent much of Tuesday trying to repair the bomb cyclone’s damage on Simpson’s property. They decided to wrap up their clean at sunset, Simpson told the Lincoln Journal Star, and began the mile-long walk through chest-high, icy flood waters to get home.
As the men walked, Stouffer saw something in the distance that appeared to be a mini fridge. As they got closer, the men investigated, per the paper. As it turns out, it was a fridge. And it was full of ice-cold beer. Busch and Bud Light to be exact. They were thrilled.
“It was a gift sent from the heavens, and we were happy to see it,” Simpson told the outlet. “But we hoped the people who lost the fridge were OK, we hoped their property was OK.”
Their findings were shared in a Facebook group called Nebraska through the lens, where it went locally viral.
It didn’t take long for the story to get back to the fridge’s original owner: The Healy family, also of Nebraska.
Brian Healy said that he recognized the fridge almost immediately because of the particular Busch to Bud Light ratios – his whole family prefers the former while his dad will only drink the latter.
The mini fridge had been with the Healys for over a decade, surviving a fire that destroyed his family’s house in 2007. After, they relocated it to a riverside cabin.
“It’s just a summer cabin, no heat to it,” Healy told the Lincoln Journal Star. “But it had a full beer fridge; you always got to have one of those.”
Sadly, the cabin was destroyed in the flood. The fridge was swept four miles downstream – onto Simpson’s land – in the process.
Simpson and Healy have since been in touch, Healy told The Washington Post. Once the roads are in safe condition to permit driving, Simpson will return the miracle fridge to Healy.
Brian and his aunt, Judy Healy, told The Post that they’re glad people are amused – but they hope this story will uplift the stories of other families they know who lost their homes and possessions in the flood.
“We have not had a disaster that has been this widespread in the state, I don’t think, ever,” Governor Pete Ricketts said on Tuesday. “We’ve had disasters where we’ve had a greater loss of life. But as far as how many places have been touched by this, I don’t think there’s ever been a disaster this widespread in Nebraska.”
“We just lost a refrigerator and a cabin,” Judy Healy said. “People need to help the families who are suffering.”