Record flooding in Nebraska this month has devastated parts of the state. The flood waters are responsible for at least two deaths, hundreds of evacuations, a state of emergency declaration, and untold property losses. Several farmers tell The New York Times the financial losses from the disaster will put their already struggling farms out of business. Amidst the tragedy, one, small, beer-filled sign of hope emerged: the story of the “miracle” fridge.
The Lincoln Journal-Star has details on the story, which first surfaced on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend. The story involves a Nebraska man named Kyle Simpson and his friend Gayland Stouffer, who spent Sunday surveying the damage and cleaning up mud and debris from property in Butler County, Nebraska. The pair looked out over a flooded field and saw what looked like a mini fridge. Stouffer took a closer look; it was indeed a fridge… full of beer! He called his friend over.
“And he reaches in and says, ‘It’s ice cold,’” Simpson told the Journal-Star.
The pair opened a few beers, and took a photo with the “gift sent from the heavens.” Simpson says that photo was his first-ever selfie.
The post was shared thousands of times this week, and the fridge looked especially familiar to a fellow Nebraskan named Brian Healy. He recognized the fridge—and the Busch Light and Bud Light inside—as the fridge from his cabin near Linwood, Nebraska, four miles from where the men found it. The so-called “magic” fridge had already weathered a fire, when Healy’s parents’ house burned in 2007, so perhaps he wasn’t totally surprised to see it make it through a flood. Fast forward a few days, and Healy and Simpson spoke by phone, at which point Simpson promised to return the miraculous fridge to its rightful owner.
A fellow Nebraskan said of the miracle fridge: “Sometimes though, the world sends you a break.”