MDOT to utilize Twitter during hurricane evacuations

By WLOX Staff

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The next time a hurricane threatens South Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will turn to Twitter to provide traffic information on evacuation routes.

MDOT has created six separate Twitter feeds that will provide route-specific traffic information to evacuees traveling Interstates 10, 20, 55, 59 and U.S. Highways 49 and 98.  Evacuees will receive information such as traffic delays, contraflow information, fuel availability, and roadway openings all on a real-time basis.

In order to access an evacuation route-specific feed, evacuees can simply type in the feed address in your web browser. If you are new to Twitter, click "Join Today." If you are an existing user, simply, "login." Users will be asked to provide their full name, a user name, password and email address. Once you are signed up to follow the evacuation route-specific feed, you must click device updates to the "on" position on the Twitter screen so that you will receive tweets via cell phone.

The feed addresses are listed below:

"I am extremely excited about Twitter and how it will be used as a necessary tool providing information in a timely manner that is needed during hurricane evacuations," MDOT Executive Director Butch Brown said. "Utilizing this system will give MDOT the ability to not only get information directly into the hands of Mississippians evacuating, but also to evacuees from Alabama and Louisiana. Twitter will deliver instantaneously traffic information and will reach a large number of people needing traffic information while evacuating."

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