Man stuck in flooding elevator during Omaha storm

Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of friends was rescued from a flooded elevator during the intense flash flooding in Omaha.

It was only a matter of minutes after this moment, that the same floodwaters sweeping through downtown Omaha came rushing into an apartment elevator at Old Market Lofts.

“The water was moving pretty quick. I think once it got to my stomach. After pushing all the buttons that’s when I said ‘hey, we can’t get the elevator open,’” said Tony Luu.

Tony Luu and his three friends were all trapped and desperately calling for help.

“I knew I had to stay calm. I knew if I got overwhelmed, I would start to get nervous and break down,” said Luu.

As his friend frantically dialed 911, Luu phoned a friend. His roommate is miraculously also a maintenance employee for the building.

“I didn’t think much. I just ran there. It was just like a fight or flight type of thing,” said Daylon Stapp.

Daylon and Drayton Stapp, now positioned as first responders, rushed to the basement.

“I just heard people screaming. I didn’t know it was them. I just knew they were stuck,” said Drayton.

Quickly finding themselves in a similar yet equally dangerous position, Luu is 5′7 and by now, the water was just below his chin.

“We went down into about shoulder-deep water and just tried pulling it apart with everything we could,” said Daylon.

“Once it got towards kinda my neck and chest that’s when I thought okay like I could possibly die in here,” said Luu.

As he fought to kick the door open, his friends were on the other side prying the doors apart as best as they could.

“We had to get him out or it could’ve been fatal,” said Daylon.

Nearly 10 minutes later, their collaboration was successful and likely a story they’ll never forget.

Luu says he’s overwhelmed from last night’s events but otherwise feeling fine and just relieved to be safe. He says moments after the reuse, first responders arrived to continue the helping.

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