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MINNEAPOLIS - The hope is that it will be a messasge few can miss.

Minneapolis officials are launching a new tool to let drivers know when the city is under a snow emergency.

The city will use digital billboards to tell drivers whenever a
snow emergency is in effect this season. The billboards will
display messages encouraging drivers to sign up for free snow
emergency alerts.

Emergency alerts and messages will appear on the dozen Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards throughout Minneapolis. Once a Snow Emergency is declared, the ads will be replaced with ones that tell drivers that a Snow Emergency is in effect, and to call the Snow Emergency hotline to find out where to park.

"We already have many creative ways of informing residents and visitors about Snow Emergencies, and thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor, we have a great new one," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "This partnership will help the City do its job of clearing the streets and keeping people safe during a Snow Emergency, and will help drivers keep money in their wallets by keeping their cars from being towed."

The billboards join a number oftoolsalready in place to help residents find out when a Snow Emergency has been declared including text and email alerts, automated phone calls, a Snow Emergency hotline, Facebook, Twitter and the City's website.

"With these digital billboards we have just about every method of reaching people except for skywriting or carrier pigeons," Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy said in a released statement."Our Snow Emergency Twitter account is the eighth most followed for a local government in the nation. When it comes to creative communication, Minneapolis excels."

Mayor R.T. Rybak and officials from Clear Channel Outdoor are
announcing the plans to use the billboards on Wednesday.

The hope is that the billboards will help drivers avoid getting
towed.

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