Nehawka man clings to tree during twister

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 19:50:03-04

Robin Stoll was working in a shed just after 5 p.m. Monday when he heard a twister tearing through the countryside. He called for his dog and ran across his farmyard northwest of Nehawka, NE, hoping to make it to the basement in time.

The wind threw Stoll against a tree in the front yard. He grabbed on as it pulled him off the ground. When the winds died down, he was still standing. His home was not. 

Nehawka volunteer fire department chief Ryan Adams captured the twister as it blew through the countryside. He stayed on the scene as volunteer firefighters went mile by mile to check other farms near Stoll's home.

"I opened the door and it started going east," Stoll said. "The dog and I headed for the basement and didn't make it."

Carol Durham was helping Stoll sift through his belongings Monday night. He saved several items, even though his home was destroyed. Firefighters say stoll refused medical treatment, but did have some cuts and bruises. He also injured his leg.

"The wind threw him into the tree," Durham said. "It rolled him across the yard and into the tree. The dog ran under the deck. Then it was like the movie 'Twister.' He had his legs up and they were flying!" 

Nehawka fire officials were also busy fighting overland flooding from the massive amounts of rain. However, they had no other local reports of property damage.