Erroneous Suffolk evacuation order blamed on glitch

Suffolk officials say a system glitch caused an erroneous alert to be broadcast on some TV stations Saturday night calling for the immediate evacuation of

An alert went out on multiple channels advising residents to immediately evacuate Suffolk County, but it turned out to be a mistake.

An alert went out on multiple channels advising residents to immediately evacuate Suffolk County, but it turned out to be a mistake. (9/4/16)

WOODBURY - Suffolk officials say a system glitch caused an erroneous alert to be broadcast on some TV stations Saturday night calling for the immediate evacuation of the entire county.

As News 12 has reported, Suffolk officials have been calling only for voluntary evacuations of just Fire Island. But the emergency broadcasting system alert appeared to order all of Suffolk to evacuate.

At a press conference on Hermine preparations Sunday afternoon, Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone blamed the issue on a system glitch. He said the county uploaded the correct information about the voluntary Fire Island evacuation to the federal alert system, but the text automatically became truncated before being broadcast.

Bellone said the Suffolk FRES team caught the error after it went out and the alert text was updated.

Officials say they are speaking with federal authorities from the emergency alert system to investigate exactly how the glitch occurred.

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