Alert malfunction caused hours of delays for Round Rock residents

Reports: Hours-long delay in storm warnings

AUSTIN, Texas -- The KVUE Storm Team broke a tornado warning Sunday morning, one that including Round Rock.

However, for those relying on emergency alerts from a local government system, it may have been hours before some got the call to take shelter.

Sunday afternoon, KVUE started receiving many calls from Round Rock residents as they explained they were getting delayed "Code Red" alert calls. These were reverse 9-1-1 calls, informing people that a tornado warning was in effect.

The problem came from the fact that these residents were getting the call hours later, some even receiving the message more than seven hours after the warning ended.

KVUE also found many comments on our Storm Team weather blogs as well as many posts on Twitter that echoed the same sentiment.

After doing some digging, KVUE found out this code red call comes from the Capital Area Council of Governments -- or CAPCOG -- where people can register to receive alerts on their phones.

Eric Carter, CAPCOG's Director of Homeland Security in Austin, said an internal investigation revealed, "Our vendor had provided functionality to the user to conduct a system all call that should not have been there."

This means the company sent the phone call message to all the CAPCOG counties -- explaining how Martha Gimbut got an alert for a city she doesn't live in and why the internal system became backlogged with too many calls to send out. So this accidental function caused up to seven hours in delays for a warning that lasted about 20 minutes.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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