LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4)– People living in Lafayette were jolted awake in the middle of the night by the sound of tornado sirens blaring. The alarm sounded after days of severe storms made their way along the Front Range.

“The alarm was going a good 10 minutes,” said Lafayette resident Elliott Silver.

The sirens blared just after 3 a.m. Thursday, just hours after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit eastern Colorado.

It turns out there was no safety threat, the sirens went off by mistake.

“It was like a WWII siren,” said Lafayette resident Daniel Staniforth.

Staniforth lives right next to one of the alarm towers. He said as soon as it sounded his family took cover.

“We just went down into the lowest room and scrambled anything we could on the weather,” said Staniforth.

It didn’t take long for some to question the warning.

“It was as calm as could be,” said Silver.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Tornado sirens in Lafayette are controlled by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials with Boulder County said the sirens were mistakenly turned on when the sheriff’s office was paging officers to respond to an unrelated police operation.

“It was a software glitch. It wasn’t intentional. We’re looking into it and we’re going to get it fixed,” said Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Division Chief Robert Sullenberg.

When asked if the community can trust the alarm system, Sullenberg responded, “The answer to that is yes. This is the first time in 20 years this sort of thing has happened.”

As for those who lost sleep, Staniforth said, “I was fairly forgiving as long as I could crawl back into bed and dream it away.”


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