IRMA: False evacuation alert sent in Pinellas County; officials site glitch

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 4:10 PM EDT

Pinellas County officials said an erroneous message was sent Tuesday through the wireless emergency alert system, stating that citizens should evacuate.

  • Officials cite technical glitch for incorrect message
  • County's evacuation orders lifted after Irma pounds region
  • Error reported to county's software vendor

"A technical glitch caused the alert message that was originally sent ahead of Hurricane Irma to be erroneously resent (Tuesday) to some mobile devices and weather alert radios," officials said in a news release.

The county has reported the problem to its system software vendor. The system error is not related to current Pinellas County operations.

Pinellas County's evacuation orders have been lifted and there are no current weather-related threats from Hurricane Irma.

Wireless emergency alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent through mobile carriers by authorized government authorities at federal, state and local levels.