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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – As tornado sirens blared across Minnesota on Thursday, it was day one for Hennepin County officials as they debuted a new way to warn the public.

"We are very excited about this," said Captain Jim Bayer with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department. "This new system will replace 1970's technology."

This new system equates to new software. Rather than dividing Hennepin County into four sections, warnings will be directed to specific areas in the path of severe weather.

"We can pinpoint areas rather than large geographical areas," says Capt. Bayer. "If you're hearing it, it affects you."

Ramsey County has similar technology, but both counties are leading the way in finding new ways to warn the public.

"If we can harness new technology to increase our ability to warn in a more precise fashion than we must do that," says Dan Anderson with Hennepin County Emergency Management. "The public expects that of us."

The new software streamlines ways to individually trigger specific sirens, too.

County officials are also reminding people that warning sirens are for those outdoors not indoors.

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