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Surge in text messaging subscribers

Posted: November 17, 2008 8:52 p.m.
Updated: November 18, 2008 4:30 a.m.

Santa Clarita city's free emergency text messaging service experienced a sizable subscriber increase since the Sayre Fire began Friday.

"Nothing like a real emergency to get people in the mode to sign up to receive information," said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said.

In the last few days, emergency text messaging service numbers jumped by 741 subscribers, bringing the total to 2,841, she said.

Four text messages were sent over the weekend notifying subscribers about freeway traffic conditions. Several roadways connecting Santa Clarita to the Los Angeles area closed Saturday.

The weekend marked the first time the service, which began in early October, was put into action, Ortiz said.

With 50 percent of local residents commuting to work, city officials started cell phone updates to keep people outside the valley up-to-date on pertinent valley information.

Additionally, the service represents a change in how people want to receive information and how the city can meet those needs.


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