An agreement to share his neighbor's basement saved one Pilger, - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

An agreement to share his neighbor's basement saved one Pilger, NE man's life


Larry Nelson's home was demolished Monday, leaving nothing but the foundation. One thing the twisters did spare was his life all because of an agreement he made with his neighbors many years ago.

"Cause he has no basement," said Marilyn Andersen of Pilger, Nebraska. "We had an agreement when we have storms he comes over to our house so that we can go to the basement if we need to, and we needed to."

This is what's left of Larry's home. His neighbors home, nearly 100 feet away, was hardly touched. As soon as Larry heard the sirens go off, he ran next door and the three of them road out the storm in the basement together.

"I was just saying, 'Oh God! Oh God, save us!' I was just praying," said Marilyn.

"A lot of rumbling, it wasn't that bad, but the window broke out," said Larry Nelson of Pilger, Nebraska. "It only lasted about a minute maybe."

"We were all three down in the basement, my husband, Larry and I," said Marylin. "And it was seconds, not minutes, seconds and it was over and we came up and looked across and it's gone. It's all gone."

Including Larry's home. His neighbor Marilyn said she believes their agreement is what saved Larry's life.

"Oh, I don't think he wouldn't be here," said Marilyn. "I really don't, cause he has no where to go."

"I was just thankful I was over there and worried about what I'm going to end up with," said Nelson.

Larry and Marilyn said their next step is to help their community clean up.

"Just sadness for the city of Pilger," said Marilyn. "So much damage and so many people lost everything, everything they had. We were so blessed to have our house intact and it's just devastating. It really is."

Larry said he'll be staying with his daughter for the next few weeks.

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