Authorities: Civil Emergency alert sent by mistake to Johnson, Iowa, Polk counties

An erroneous alert message texted to some cell phone users in Johnson, Iowa, and Polk Counties on Monday, March 20, 2017.
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Civil Emergency alert message sent to many cell phone users was sent in error, according to the Johnson County Emergency Management team.

The Johnson County Emergency Management team said they were trying to send an updated alert for a missing woman and their third party messaging system sent out an incorrect alert for Polk County.

In a news release, the agency said shortly after 7:20 p.m. Monday an incorrect wireless emergency alert went out to some cell phones in some areas of Johnson, Iowa, and Polk counties.

The message was supposed to be a follow up on a missing person out of Johnson County, but instead it stated a “civil emergency in this area until 8:45 PM EDT Take Shelter Now Polk-County.”

Officials said the third party vendor is used throughout Iowa and is trying to determine how and why the erroneous message went out.

Earlier Monday, same vendor had sent correct Emergency Alert messages for missing persons in Johnson and Chickasaw counties.

The vendor has apologized for the confusion. Authorities have not identified the vendor.