A technical error led to an alarming automated evacuation message meant only for parts of Alamo to be sent to residents throughout Contra Costa County on Wednesday, a county sheriff’s spokesman said today.
The automated phone message from the county’s Community Warning System went out around 11 a.m. Wednesday in response to a gas leak reported at 3195 Danville Blvd. in Alamo.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from homes and businesses within a roughly 1,000-foot radius of the leak, according to San Ramon Valley Fire officials.
The leak occurred when an East Bay Municipal Utility District crew struck a gas pipe with a backhoe, PG&E representatives said.
The county has an automated warning system, which is used to alert residents to emergencies. A Wireless Emergency Alert, or WEA, system, is also available to notify the entire county of a potential emergency.
County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said automated evacuation orders were only supposed to be sent to homes and businesses in the affected parts of Alamo on Wednesday.
“However, because of a technical error on the part of the vendor that we use to send alerts, the alert was inadvertently put out through the WEA,” Lee said.
People countywide heard the automated phone message, which urged them to evacuate immediately and to take only essential belongings with them.
Lee said the county is working with its wireless alert vendor to make prevent future errors with the alert system.
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