Madison's new text alert for snow emergencies gets first test - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison's new text alert for snow emergencies gets first test

MADISON (WKOW) -- From his first look, Madison mayor Dave Cieslewica thinks city crews, and new technology, are handling the storm well.

A snow emergency was issued around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The biggest effect means people living in the isthmus and downtown areas must follow alternate side parking rules like the rest of the city.  During the emergency, all parking fines will be $60. That will help the plows clean the streets quicker.

To get the word out faster, text messages and emails went out immediately to people who signed to a new service called Alert Madison.

"So far, so good," said Cieslewicz.  "We're just starting to evaluate what we should do moving forward. It's the first test of our new snow emergency system where we're getting text messages out, so we'll see how that works."

A spokesperson said about 913 people were signed up for the text messages when the emergency was declared. About another three thousand emails went as well.

The city's homepage, as well as a new winter-themed website, also have a big logo alerting people that a snow emergency is in effect.

Once it expires, the logo will turn back to green. The city unvieled the website about six weeks ago after managers said it was becoming increasingly difficult to reach every single person.

As for street conditions, plows began hitting residential roads Tuesday afternoon. The city expects it to take another 8 to 10 hours for roads to be cleared.

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