Jackson County uses new technology to warn a community about chemical spill

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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Jackson County used a new mass notification system for the first time during its response to a chemical spill.

On Monday afternoon, crews responded to the spill near Northfield. A driver hauling Toloene and Xylene, which is used as a degreaser, noticed that the chemicals were leaking from one of 45 drums that he was hauling. The Hixton Fire Department evacuated one home as a precautionary measure. The people there were let back into their home after four hours. Crews shut down a stretch of State Highway 121 near I-94 during the response, and the westbound on and off ramps at that exit were closed. They have since re-opened. Firefighters say there was no real danger to anyone.

The county also used its Code RED system to tell people living near the spill about the response and the roads that were closed. The county describes it in a news release as "a reverse 911." It called the system a very efficient way to tell people about a situation like the spill, and a wonderful tool.

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