Laurel residents get wrong evacuation calls

Most likely calls were part of Ocean City evacuation

August 27, 2011

Some residents of Laurel reported they received automated phone calls telling them to evacuate on Thursday, but those calls were not meant for them, city officials said.

Laurel City Spokesman James Collins said a few apartment residents in Emerson, at Fourth Street and Cherry Lane, and in Westchester, on Contee Road, erroneously received automated telephone calls around 6 p.m. Thursday, telling them of a mandatory evacuation.

Collins said the city is working with the state's emergency operation center to track where the calls were coming from. Most likely, Collins said, the calls were part of the evacuations mandated in Ocean City. He said the phone numbers of some Laurel residents who own beach property might have been on the list for automated calls, but that other Laurel phone numbers also got the calls.

Collins said the city doesn't know how many residents got the wrong calls, but Laurel Police reported about a dozen people contacted them for verification after receiving the automated calls.

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