Phone glitch results in Kansas residents activating tornado sirens by calling wrong number

Kansas authorities say a phone glitch is to blame for the mistaken sounding of tornado sirens in recent weeks, causing confusion and even panic among some residents in and around Hutchinson. At first, officials suspected there was water on the phone lines or perhaps insects. But The Hutchinson News reported the sirens are assigned local phone numbers and are activated when emergency workers dial those numbers.

A software glitch opened the lines to outside calls, and residents who mistakenly dialed those numbers activated the sirens.

Officials say they've fixed the problem by assigning new, secure phone numbers to the sirens.


Information from: The Hutchinson News,