FREMONT -- To look at the photos, you’d think Justin Cash was on a hike through rugged terrain on some wilderness trek.
And, in a way, he was.
But the Fremont man wasn’t taking a high-adventure survivalist trip.
He was heading out to get groceries for his family on Sunday after floodwaters washed out a large portion of the lane leading to the family's lakeside home.
Cash and his wife, Ashley, and their children, Austin, 11, and Haley, 6, live with their pets in a home at Olmstead Lake, just north of the Platte River. Ashley’s father, Mike Olmstead, lives in a house near the Cash family on the lake.
Recent rain and rapidly melting snow has caused the Platte and other area rivers to rise. A levee on the west side of Ridge Road breached about midnight on Friday, sending water into Inglewood and the south part of Fremont.
On Thursday, floodwaters already had washed out part of the dirt lane leading to the Cash house.
Family members continued to monitor the situation.
“We’ve lived by the river our whole lives. We thought we would wait — day by day — to see if the water receded like we normally do, because we’re up very high,” Ashley Cash said.
On Saturday, Justin Cash tried to leave his property on a 4-wheeler, driving on the high side of the lane.
The water was flowing when he hit a deep spot and the 4-wheeler submerged in the water. Cash was able to stand on the 4-wheeler as his wife threw him a tow strap tied to a pickup truck.
He grabbed the tow strap, tied it to the 4-wheeler and walked himself out of the water. Cash then pulled the 4-wheeler out and onto dry land.
But they were still without supplies.
So Ashley made calls to friends, who would get supplies for her family and her father via airboat.
But Justin needed to reach a spot where he could retrieve the items.
So with a long walking stick, he headed out on Sunday.
“I used that (stick) to keep balanced and feel around and check depths to make sure I wasn’t going to walk into a hole,” he said.
A large portion of the lane leading to the Cash house is gone, but the water had receded quite a bit and slowed by Sunday. Cash still walked through at least a foot of water.
From his house, Cash estimates he walked about a half mile to Ridge Road.
It took a coordinated effort to get supplies to the Cashes and Olmstead.
Craig and Holly Hittner of Fremont, who have an airboat, brought the supplies to Jon Peterson, who lives on Big Island Road, and some friends, who met Justin Cash on Ridge Road.
Supplies included milk, cheese, fruit and Hamburger Helper.
“We have hamburger, so they were just trying to bring us stuff to make meals,” Ashley said.
Cash now has a new name for the place where he and his family lives.
Instead of Olmstead Lake, he calls it “Olmstead Island.”
Cash and his family are grateful to the people who brought them groceries.
“We’ve never seen anything like that and I’m sure anybody else hasn’t either,” he said. “My father-in-law’s lived here 20 years and he’s been coming out here his entire life and never seen this happen.”
#NebraskaStrong in flood-ravaged areas
Nebraska City aerial
Operation Prairie Hay Drop photos
The #NEGuard has been supporting the ongoing response in Eastern Nebraska following massive flooding on the state’s river systems which began a week ago and caused catastrophic damage to the state’s infrastructure and agriculture.— NE National Guard (@NENationalGuard) March 21, 2019
(3/3)#NebraskaFlood #NebraskaStrong pic.twitter.com/N4zQ2zu2Zx
Missouri River at Nebraska 2/I-29
View of the Platte/Missouri
Edge of Offutt
North Bend ovation
Pence with rescuers
Americans like Brad Brown & his airboat co-pilot Jake Rohr are the heart of the heartland. Brad & Jake have been helping victims of the flooding & delivering much needed supplies. Grateful for their service & ALL the volunteers & emergency personnel helping Nebraskans in need! pic.twitter.com/l2PxhwX6a4— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 20, 2019
Lincoln help for Santee Sioux
Buying out the bleach
Help from North Platte
@GitRDoneLarry— Chandra Laine (@ChandraLaine) March 20, 2019
We are a group of volunteers gathering donations in North Platte Ne . We sent one semi to Fremont. We have two more semi trailers almost full.Get our 4th semi on Thursday. To the people, Your battle is our battle. We stand with you. We got you! ❤ #NebraskaStrong pic.twitter.com/wsDRTr0Tr9
Help for farmers
Thanks to generious donations to the Disaster Relief Fund, we were able to deliver supplies to farmers along the Niobrara River. We brought them milk replacement for calves and medicine. Help us do more good by donating to the fund: https://t.co/sFi40cxnwG #nebraskastrong pic.twitter.com/dAGUYDKFpo— Nebraska Farm Bureau (@NEFarmBureau) March 20, 2019
Niobrara ice chunks
Sandbagging at Cooper
Pence in Nebraska
Visited the relief shelter at Elkhorn Middle School today to let the Nebraska flood victims know @POTUS and I are WITH them & to thank the incredible military personnel & @RedCross volunteers helping those impacted. THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/ZA6X7qfeSi— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 20, 2019
I-680 Mormon bridge
Sasse surveying damage
Latest from NEMA
Repairing the roads
Beer fridge was stocked!
For those of you that don't know, our state of #Nebraska is going through record flooding. Sometimes though, the world sends you a break. These guys went to their #DuckCamp and found a fully-stocked #BeerFridge. #NebraskaStrong #Flood2019 pic.twitter.com/t8FvdqVQ3g— Fat Boy Wild Game (@gameseasonings) March 19, 2019
Flying in supplies
The Nebraska flooding is so heartbreaking but the whole state has stepped up to help. I can’t be more proud of my brother for flying his plane to Fremont with baby supplies to help. Proud to be from Nebraska #NebraskaFlood #NebraskaStrong @GMA pic.twitter.com/vFZVDj6lm6— Michelle Galles (@WakefieldFCCLA) March 19, 2019
Offutt before and after
I joined the Fremont National Guard in Nebraska today to get an aerial view of flooding impact as we traveled to thank volunteers in Fremont, NE, address a community meeting in Niobrara, and receive a briefing in Lynch.#NebraskaFlood | #NebraskaStrong | #FremontStrong pic.twitter.com/piEXa7TpIq— Scott (@FirstMinScott) March 19, 2019