Five rural communities will now receive alerts before severe weather arrives. A church pastor is among those praising the good news.
Thomas Webb has preached in all kinds of weather since becoming a pastor almost 30 years ago.
"We were in the middle of a revival. Some of the real bad weather hit and we ended up having a generator and having to preach by light," said Webb.
It's sometimes hard for Pastor Webb and his congregation to know if severe weather is coming towards their rural McLean County Church.
"Generally someone will come along and say there is a potential threat and we have even dismissed service a little early sometimes," said Webb.
The McLean County Emergency Management Agency recently installed five state of the art severe weather sirens in rural areas of the county. The EMA says the new technology will alert people and save the county money.
"We are utilizing solar power sirens which keep us from having to pay a continuous electric charge each month," said David Sunn, McLean County Emergency Management Agency.
The sirens each cost $22,000 and are paid for by a federal grant. The federal grant also paid for a generator system at the EMA headquarters that will provide power to a radio tower.
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