Lake Worth residents get power outage and zombie warning

- Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC
- Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC /

The age-old adage to always be prepared applies during power outages, but what happens when your power is out and there’s a zombie warning?

Residents of Lake Worth, Florida, were treated to a special kind of confusion on Sunday night when the power went out and the city sent out a message to residents warning them of a power outage and zombies. Wait, zombies?

Yeah. Zombies.

The message was sent out to residents via cellphone push alerts. The warning was very specific about zombies, and fans of The Walking Dead clearly had an upper hand in figuring out what it meant: “Power outage and zombie alert for residents of Lake Worth and Terminus. There are now far less than seven thousand three hundred and eighty customers involved due to extreme zombie activity. Restoration time uncertain.”

Clearly, the TWD Family would know a good Terminus reference. Terminus, which is not in Florida, was a destination on The Walking Dead where “those who arrive survive” – long enough to become dinner. That’s because Terminus was a community of cannibals.

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While this emergency alert message is funny in hindsight, imagine waking up to such a message from a city office. And the larger issue is that no one seems to know where the message came from. The city of Lake Worth is looking for answers as to whether or not their emergency alert system mentioned zombies, but they have no choice but to acknowledge the situation. Ben Kerr, Lake Worth public information officer, was forced to clarify that there was no imminent threat of the undead: “I want to reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently and apologize for the system message.”

You might recall that back in January, Hawaiians received a false notification of an impending missile attack. In that case, it was human error that led to the wrong message being sent out. The Lake Worth case is alarming because the city’s alert system appears to have been hacked, and the messages was clearly altered. Kerr explained: “Those messages are pre-prepared. There’s literally thousands of them. At some point, some edits were made and that’s what you saw. Someone edited it with a zombie invasion going on.”

This begs the question, of course: Who did it? Who edited the messages that were sent to power customers, why mention zombies, and why include Terminus of all places? We have so many questions.

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The power outage only lasted 27 minutes, but it has left behind a huge mess as city officials work to figure out what happened, and how to keep it from happening again.