WASHINGTON, Ill. -- For some Washington victims this was the first day they could return to what's left of their homes. As you can imagine, it was very emotional for some, but there were some tears of joy.
The five-day wait about to come to an end. Residents of the Georgetown Commons Apartments, lined up on a surreal occasion, waiting to go back into their homes to see what they can salvage.
"This is the worst I've ever seen," said Zachary Johnson who was helping his sister.
Zachary Johnson is one of ten people here who have come to help his sister get whatever she can in the half-hour allotted to them.
"I just hope to be able to get some stuff out, the stuff that can't be replaced," said tornado victim Carissa Johnson. The residents brought boxes, plastic totes, wagons, anything that would help them take away pieces of their lives before Sunday's tornado. No one appeared to leave empty-handed.
"I didn't think we'd be able to get in and get anything, and we were ok.. We got in and we got so much," said another tornado victim Cindy Zimmerman. Cindy Zimmerman and her family lived on the second floor.
"We got everything. We got pictures, a lot of its gone, but we did get a lot," said Zimmerman.
Perhaps nothing more precious than her daughter Camryn's first soccer trophy. It was quite a reunion between young girl and prized possession.
As much as this was about people being able to get in and retrieve whatever personal belongings they could, this was also about community.
People who weren't hit by the tornado helping their neighbors, public servants, first responders, doing what they dedicate their lives to doing.
You know what, as frustrating as it was, it was worth the wait.
For a bad experience, we all pulled together for something great.