Ventura residents panicked after hearing test siren : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

this was posted on Drudge today. it is off topic, but somehow seems relevant to this forum IMHO

Ventura residents panicked after hearing test siren VENTURA, Calif. (AP) -- A test of a system to warn of a Casita Dam failure sent panicked residents rushing for higher ground, trampling fences and jamming streets. Police tested the system at around 6 p.m. Saturday. Residents within a nine-mile area of the Ventura River valley heard 11 blaring sirens and a voice from a loud speaker warning: "This is an emergency. Head for high ground. You have one hour."

The warning was prefaced with another saying, "This is a test," but many people apparently did not hear it, Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Larry Meyers said.

Worse, the warning message got stuck and kept replaying, said Jeff McCracken, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Residents said it played for about 15 minutes.

Dee Peterson said people in the neighborhood threw blankets and belongings on their front lawns and into cars.

"People were going crazy," Peterson said. "There were people in wheelchairs trying to roll down the hill, mothers pushing their babies like mad in strollers with blankets on top of their shoulders."

Emergency telephone lines were jammed with anxious callers, and police and sheriff's deputies were called out to help calm the panic.

Valiant Nims said his daughters were "freaking out" because they had to leave their cats and pet rats.

"One of them wanted to bust a window to get back in the house. There was real panic around here," he said.

Radio and newspaper announcements of the test appeared last week. Future tests are scheduled for noon on the first Wednesday of April, July and October.

-- boop (, January 30, 2000


Yeeeee heeee heeee heeeh hee hee!

And people wonder why we prepared for Y2K! If these kinds of things had happened half the population would have been trampled to death by hysterical morons.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), January 30, 2000.

True Hawk but what's worse is half of these morons are going to sue the city for emotional pain and suffering which will end up raising their taxes to pay for it.

-- Guy Daley (, January 30, 2000.

Sorry, i meant to label the topic OT but i forgot

-- boop (, January 30, 2000.

I don't doubt it. A 30 second test would have been sufficient. Wonder why the moron police couldn't get it turned off for 15 minutes. Maybe a little defective embedded chip problem? They should have just cut the power.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), January 30, 2000.

We used to have an "air-raid siren" that was sounded every Wednesday at noon, until the local politico's decided that "we" were going to be a nuclear-free zone (as if the Russki's would have collectively said "Oh...o.k., sorry" and marked their maps accordingly (snicker) ).

Half the citizenry thought it was a fire alarm. I knew what it's intended purpose was and it used to scare the sh*t out of me about twice a month-I'd jump up out of bed and be moving before I was awake enough to think what day it was.

-- chairborne commando (, January 30, 2000.

I live in Ventura, but further south and inland towards Santa Paula... to understand why people would panic, if Casitas (a VERY large resevoir) were to break, it would wash down a fairly narrow canyon... thousands of lives would be lost...

When we have heavy rains, people are killed either from direct runoff, or mudslides in that canyon as it is....

I feel for the folks living in that canyon... I could imagine the panic with that kind of alarm going off and repeating for 15 minutes... those poor folks must have thought it was the end of the world...

It's also, for obvious reasons, the low-income alley for Ventura... the deaths would have been mostly the poor who couldn't afford to live anywhere else in Ventura...

-- Carl (, January 30, 2000.

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