Homeland Security glitch sends 'evacuate now' alert to Minnesotans

At least two county sheriff departments are being inundated with calls.
Author:
Publish date:
Screen Shot 2020-02-05 at 8.59.45 AM

Some people in northern Minnesota received a scare Wednesday morning when an emergency alert warning residents to "evacuate now" was sent by error. 

No one was in danger but the alert from Homeland Security Emergency Management popped up just after 8 a.m. for some people in Itasca and St. Louis counties.  

The also went out to residents in Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, and Pine counties.

"Please disregard a text that was sent from Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) stating that you should evacuate immediately. Our dispatch center is being inundated with calls regarding this," said Itasca County Sheriff Vic Williams. 

"Our office is sending word that this text received by citizens was sent in error. Again, please disregard."

On Facebook, the Itasca County Sheriff's Office said HSEM "had a glitch in their system" and they are aware of the mistake. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said the City of Floodwood and other communities were sent the false emergency alert. 

"There is no evacuation order in place, nor any reason to do so," the sheriff's office said. 

HSEM's weekly public alert test was sent out beyond the test environment, and further complicating the situation was the fact that the "this is a test" portion of the message was cut off. 

KSTP reports that some residents in Aitkin, Carlton, Cass and Pine counties also received the alert. 

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.

Sars-Cov-2

Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

General Mills

General Mills halts donations to Republicans who voted to block Biden win

Two Minnesota representatives voted against certification of results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

overturned semi truck

Winter storm creates whiteout conditions, closing roads and causing crashes

Roads in southwestern Minnesota were closed early Friday, while slippery conditions elsewhere in the state led to crashes and spinouts.

Hamilton

Hennepin Theatre Trust announces 2021-22 Broadway schedule

Health and safety protocols will be in place based on state guidance.

Tim Walz

Walz to hold press conference on MN State Capitol safety concerns

This comes amid ongoing threats to state Capitols across the country.

Related

flooding near Hastings

Flooding spreads across MN; mobile home park evacuated

An ice jam caused a creek near Jordan to overflow.

cooking

Minnesotan's dinner was so spicy it sparked evacuation of apartment building

The fire chief said it's the first call of its kind in his 18 years on the job.

Pennie Robertson

31-year-old woman hasn't been seen since May 24

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office has joined the investigation.

Dilworth MN Walmart

Walmart in MN evacuated after report of gun-wielding man inside

It happened just days after a mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas.

Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 7.01.20 AM

Cottage Grove Walmart evacuated because of suspicious package

The evacuation was ordered around 4 p.m. Monday.

Valleyfair increases security after fight-fueled evacuation

The amusement park in Shakopee was evacuated on Saturday night.

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 9.57.07 AM

Sheriff: Shotgun blast damages school window in northern MN

No students or staff were ever in danger, the sheriff says.

Screen Shot 2020-09-22 at 9.01.27 AM

Search teams find body of Minnesota man reported missing

Timothy Alan Dasovich was first reported missing earlier this month.