Washington couple strives to rebuild home and life

By WEEK Reporter

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- While many tornado survivors are holding out until spring to do major work on their homes one Washington couple just can't wait.

Not only are they rebuilding their home, they say they are also trying to rebuild their life.

Thursday was a big day for Nancy and Daniel Topping.

"We're finally getting our windows put in," said Nancy.

"Today's the first day," said Daniel. "They delivered them Tuesday, and we started today."

The first time News 25 spoke with the Toppings was in late November. The Toppings were busy boarding up windows in their Washington home after an EF-4 tornado tore through their city.

"The windows were all blown up," said Nancy. "He had to come back and patch them right away."

Since then, the Toppings have lived in their boarded up Washington home.

"It didn't bother me being in the dark," said Daniel.

He spoke for himself.

"Oh, it was pitched black," said Nancy. "On the back side of the house, it was pitched black. I have to be able to look out. So, it feels great to get everything done."

They had also installed a new, sliding back door.

"This is the next big step to getting the house back to normal," said Daniel.

Or as normal as it can be for a home surrounded by hundred of damaged or destroyed homes. Their now barren backyard is a front row seat to the view of destruction.

"My yard used to look like a park area... It doesn't anymore," said Nancy.

Their yard is what they will be working on in the spring.

"There's still a lot to do, but we're getting there," said Nancy, exemplifying an attitude Daniel says he admires.

"She's been strong all the time, so she keeps after me," said Daniel.

And, strength is one thing they have always had.

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