Some Tornado Victims Allowed to Retrieve Belongings from Damaged Homes

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Residents of Washington, Illinois, got a chance to return to what’s left of their homes Friday morning.  Some were lucky to salvage what they hoped to find.  Others left empty-handed.

Sunday’s tornado destroyed hundreds of homes and damaged hundreds more.

Plows and backhoes spent much of Thursday clearing away the debris.  Today, residents of Georgetown Common Apartments  complex got 30 minutes each to go back home to grab what they could.  Guillermo Herrerra  found only a broken window.  He lost everything.

Others retrieved clothes.  One resident retrieved a flat screen TV.  Another resident, found a prized possession.  A soccer trophy.

“It’s so special,” 8 year old Cameron Zimmerman told WGN’-TVS Tony Francisco.  “It’s my first trophy I ever won in my life,”  she added.

Zimmerman’s mother said they got what they came for.  “Thirty minutes,” said Cindy Zimmerman.  “We’re done.   We got what we wanted, pictures and a trophy.”

FEMA teams are assessing the damage and assuring storm victims that their losses will be well documented, and the government will provide emergency and long-term relief.

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