Dayton, Columbus areas trial new billboard weather alert system

Ohio is planning to roll out a new weather alert system using billboards in Dayton and Columbus.

Called the Ohio Traveler Alert System, the system will display real-time alert information on digital billboards to warn motorists of possible threatening weather such as high winds, snow squalls, heavy ice and flooding. In particular the messaging is meant to help travelers who aren’t familiar with the area and its possible weather hazards, as well as area drivers unaware of coming severe weather and people living near the billboards.

The first phase of the program will include 50 billboards in the Dayton and Columbus metropolitan areas, the state said in a release, after which time the state will evaluate the program’s success and possibly expand to other parts of the state.

The program is a joint effort from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service Wilmington Forecast Office and Lamar Advertising.

Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick said, “The Ohio Traveler Alert System is a great way to keep Ohioans and visitors safe and aware on the roads. This potentially lifesaving project will provide critical weather updates to Ohio travelers.”

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