Digital billboards in Champaign to display tornado warnings

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill.  — The National Weather Service and an outdoor advertising company are teaming up to equip nine digital billboards in central Illinois with the ability to display tornado warnings.

Adams Outdoor Advertising says the billboards in Champaign will alert drivers to any tornado warning in effect within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of each billboard.

General manager Reid Reker says the company is providing the warnings as a donation to the community in the interest of public safety.

When an alert is activated, each billboard will show only the tornado warning until it has been lifted.

John Dwyer of the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency is cautioning people still will need weather radios and phone apps to stay alert to the kind of weather that can rapidly develop into tornadoes even before warnings are issued.

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