Peoria County storm spotters train for upcoming season

By Beau Ebenezer

March 4, 2014 Updated Mar 5, 2014 at 11:03 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Emergency responders in Peoria County are working to deliver severe weather warnings faster.

The Emergency Management Agency held their annual weather spotter training Tuesday night at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center.

The county's 12 fire departments all participated along with dozens of EMA volunteers and spotters.

They looked at cloud formations from the November tornadoes to help identify future storms.

Officials said storm spotters play a crucial role in getting warnings issued within the county.

"We rely very much on our spotters because the weather radar can only go so far down to the ground," said Peoria County EMA Director, Vicky Turner. "From there onto the ground, there is no radar."

"For my guys, they were all a part of that storm," said Brimfield Fire Chief James Bennett. "They went over and participated in the aftermath. They will be able to see what led up to it, and we will be able to gather information from all of that and kind of build on our plan."

Areas like Brimfield use about six locations specifically for storm spotting.