Sonic Booms Reveal Bugs In Emergency Alert System - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sonic Booms Reveal Bugs In Emergency Alert System

TACOMA, Wash. - When Pierce County officials were setting up their new automated alert system, they didn't put sonic booms on the list of things that would prompt them to send out messages. This past week was a learning opportunity for them. Two sonic booms rocked Western Washington on Tuesday when military jets broke the sound barrier while responding to a security breach during President Barack Obama's visit to Seattle.

Pierce County's 911 operators were swamped with hundreds of calls from scared or curious residents, while authorities debated whether to send out a community alert. The message wasn't sent out until 90 minutes after the F-15s fly by. Now the county is reassessing its list of when to send out alerts.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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