- Associated Press - Friday, July 25, 2014

NEMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An erroneous evacuation warning about a hazardous material spill sounded in a village that sits near a nuclear power plant in southeast Nebraska, but the warning apparently didn’t raise much alarm.

The vocal warning went out once or twice over a siren speaker in Nemaha while a technician from Cooper Nuclear Station worked on the siren Thursday morning. Spokesman Mark Becker for Nebraska Public Power District, which owns the plant, said Friday that the technician accidentally played a recorded message that had been loaded by the siren manufacturer but is not part of the plant’s procedure.

The plant’s warning protocol includes the sounding of sirens within 10 miles of the plant for three minutes, alerting people to seek more information from television or radio, Becker said.

Federal regulators will be notified about the errant warning, he said.

The Nemaha County village of 150 residents is situated about two miles southwest of the plant.

Village clerk Janice Boden said she was inside, washing windows, and couldn’t really make out what was being said.

“It wasn’t very loud. I just heard a man’s voice,” Boden said.

The errant warning was discussed by people who gathered Thursday afternoon at the post office. But, she said, no one seemed concerned. Boden also said many of the village residents work at the plant.

“I just took it for granted they were testing,” Boden said. “I really didn’t pay any attention.”

Becker said the county sheriff’s office got just one call from a concerned resident.

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