Zombie alert startles Florida residents after power outage

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May 22, 2018, 4:26 PM EDT

Thanks to a mysterious civil alert straight from the plot of a fictional zombie thriller, preppers in one Florida city just came this close to enacting their best-laid bug-out plans. 

When the power went out in the dead of night early Sunday, residents of Lake Worth, Florida were startled when their social media accounts lit up with an auto-generated alert informing them that they might have much bigger problems than a temporary loss of electricity.

When the lights went out, the city’s automated messaging system shot out an alert advising residents of the population-37,000 city, located about an hour north of Miami, of a “power outage and zombie alert for residents of Lake Worth and Terminus.” 

You read that right, Walking Dead fans. The real city of Lake Worth and the fictional hamlet of Terminus, the occupied compound from Seasons 4 and 5 of The Walking Dead shared, at least for a moment, the distinction of being under high caution for shambling corpse attacks in the dark. 

Not exactly reassuring was the caveat at the end of the message: “Due to extreme zombie activity, restoration time [is] uncertain.”

City leaders acknowledged to local TV news station WPBF that the alert was an official one, although the part about zombies and Terminus found its way into the message in error. According to local reports, the city hadn’t yet gotten to the bottom of the mystery of how zombies ended up getting a mention in the first place. SYFY WIRE has reached out to Lake Worth Public Information Officer Ben Kerr for comment. 

Kerr told the station that the city is “looking into the reports that the system mentioned zombies,” but stressed that — to their knowledge — city officials believe Lake Worth to be zombie-free.

“I want to reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently and apologize for the system message,” Kerr assured, adding that local officials are going through other auto-generated system messages to make sure there aren’t more hidden zombie references.