Nebraska City native Blake Maybee has been flying with a purpose.
Maybee, who is working toward obtaining a commercial pilot's license, heard of the need for pilots to help take supplies to Fremont, which was totally isolated by flood waters.
Between Saturday and Sunday, Maybee said he took seven or eight loads from Minden to Fremont for a total of 2,000 pounds of supplies. In addition, he hauled 16 people.
After hearing of the levee break at Hamburg, Maybee turned his attention to helping the southwest Iowa town get the supplies it needed.
On Monday, Maybee began making trips over to Hamburg and ended up hauling five loads of water, 100 cases in total. He then began hauling baby diapers, clothes and basic needs items, enough to fill two 20-foot trailers.
The supplies were delivered from Nebraska City to Shenandoah and then driven into Hamburg from there.
Between his trips to Fremont and to Shenandoah, Maybee estimates that he was in the air for 25 to 30 hours.
While that work load is heavy, Maybee said he didn’t mind. It gave him training time toward that commercial license and it also gave him a chance to help.
“I don’t mind it when we are helping people out,” Maybee said.
On Thursday, the same day this article was written, Maybee said he was enjoying a little bit of downtime, but also keeping a close ear the ground to see if anybody needed anything else that could be delivered by air.
He also said that he has been taking people up in the plane to check on flood damage to their homes and might take part in air searches to help people locate pets and livestock.
Flying above the flood disaster areas in Nebraska and Iowa was eye-opening for Maybee, who said that you don’t really get a true idea of the devastation until you see it from the air.
In working with flood victims, Maybee said he tries to bring a bright spirit and a few smiles while also finding out what he might be able to do to help them get the supplies they need.
And Maybee said its also been encouraging to see what people are doing to help flood victims.
When he arrived at Nebraska City, Maybee said he found some 15 pallets filled with supplies for flood victims. He estimates that seven or eight of those pallets went to Hamburg while others went to Peru and other flood victims.
Maybee said his mom helped to collect supplies by putting out a call on social media and he said that, overall, people have had an overwhelmingly generous response.
Much of the 15 pallets that Maybee found at Nebraska City were collected in about a day.