Chicago natives living in Chandler react to deadly tornadoes

CHANDLER, AZ - The Phoenix area is home to many Chicago natives who watched as the city and surrounding Illinois towns were hit by severe storms.

Many said social media played a big role in knowing what was going on and seeing the damage for themselves.

Fortunately, residents we spoke to said they were able to place phone calls to make sure their loved ones were safe.

Carolyn Smith has lived in the Phoenix area for the last 15 years. She called her mom back in Chicago to make sure she was safe.

"It was 60 degrees and now it's only 40 degrees," her mother told her on the phone.

Big temperature drops were just a small side effect from the major weather storm that tore through Illinois, spawning more than 50 tornadoes and killing at least five people.

"I beat the storm I guess today but I got lucky. I got out here just in time," said Andy Spentzos. Spentzos runs a Chicago-themed sports bar in Chandler, AZ. He just flew in from the Windy City.

"A lot of my friends went to the game, so more than anything it was a lot of calls and texts making sure they're OK."

When the Chicago Bears took on the Baltimore Ravens Sunday at Soldier Field they and the packed house had to take cover from Mother Nature.

"It was incredible. It was a two hour delay and they had everybody clear the stadium," recalled another patron.

Smith said, "I've been in snow that is knee deep. I've been in rain but tornadoes?" she said as she shook her head.

For Spentzos, he said he's used to the Windy City's extreme weather but not the tornados.

"You hear about outside south of Chicago but never in the heart of the city so that was a shocking thing," he said.

Many say they are thinking about and praying for those families who were affected.

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