WASHINGTON - An Illinois congressman says a team effort by authorities and residents helped minimize the death toll from Sunday's storms.
The city of Washington in central Illinois, which has 10,000 residents, was perhaps the hardest hit area. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) says communication was key to saving lives.
"I think the reason there was only one loss of life in a community like this was because of the emergency response or the emergency warning system" says Schock. "I live in Peoria and my phone was alerting, giving me the floor or the tornado warning system on my phone, which I was surprised I was getting it and as I talked to neighbors and I said, 'you know, how did you know this was coming", the sirens were going, our cellphones were going off, and one neighbor amazingly came outside, saw his neighbor across the street mowing the lawn with his headset on, and went over luckily and said, 'hey there's a tornado coming, get in the basement.'"