The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) weathered the Flood of 2010 by using its website, www.dot.ri.gov, as well as its Facebook and Twitter sites to share information about road closures. The numbers of users was astronomically high and illustrates the importance of web and social media tools.
An average daily number of visitors on the RIDOT website is 2,100. At the height of the storm on Wednesday, March 31 RIDOT’s website saw 83,891 hits.
“When RIDOT got into social media in January 2009 the Department never expected to use this tool for flood information,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “What we experienced over the last few weeks shows just how important it is to use these tools to provide real time information to motorists.”
Additionally, the web address that RIDOT used in all of its Facebook and Twitter messages about updates on the road closures link on the RIDOT website has seen 8,348 hits. The messages have been retweeted 63 times and the public has left 85 comments.
Over the past week RIDOT’s Communications team updated the storm web page over 50 times. Public response has been overwhelmingly positive with postings reading, “Thank you for all of your hard work, the whole state appreciates it whether they say it or not!” and “Your tweets today have been super helpful! And the road closure map is great. Thank you!”
“From traffic updates to flood and winter storm information, RIDOT will continue sharing information with the public using Facebook, Twitter and MySpace,” said Lewis.
On Wednesday, March 31 there were 98 roads and 20 bridges closed. Today 15 roads and bridges remain closed with many already under repair. About 150 maintenance crews and 50 engineering crews have been working round the clock to get all of Rhode Island’s roads and bridges back open.
All Rhode Islanders in need of flood disaster assistance should register with FEMA at www.fema.gov or 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x4450