With safety escorts at their sides and hard hats on their heads on Tuesday, the residents of several condemned Bladensburg buildings that were damaged during last Friday's microburst were allowed to move their belongings out.
It was a sad chore that strained both roof racks and emotions five days after the freakish wind storm hammered the historic Maryland town.
"I have 22 years worth of belongings," Bladensburg resident Tina Williams said. "I need someone. I need arms. I need your feet. I need your trucks."
Fifteen buildings are damaged and emergency officials say that hundreds remain displaced, and many of them who rent apartments and own homes in the area are facing desperate times.
"It's just horrendous (to) see the families struggling, the women crying and the kids crying," resident Ivory Staton said.
For the Barry family, their visit home led to the discovery that most of their son's belongings were ruined.
"The clothes, the living room, everything," displaced resident Abdul Barry said. "The water that came down messed everything up."