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Port St. Lucie woman recalls Hawaii missile scare

Posted at 10:45 PM, Jan 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 08:18:51-05

A Port St. Lucie couple were two of the 1.3 million people who got an alarming alert on their phones, Saturday morning.

The message told them to seek shelter and that a missile was heading for the island. 

Teri Pinney was born and raised in Honolulu. 

She told WPTV she remembers taking part in bomb drills in school, but those drills didn't prepare her for what happened, Saturday.

"At first initially you panic," she said.

Still in her pajamas at her condo with her husband the Port St. Lucie resident said she only saw a message telling her a missile threat was heading her way and to seek shelter.

"All of a sudden this loud alarm like an amber alert alarm came on my phone, but I could hear it on other people's phones. It was very loud so loud it could wake the dead," Pinney recalled. 

She didn't know what was going on or what to do. 

She said she was surrounded by chaos.

"I looked out our patio and I could see down below," she said. "We're on the 19th floor people were scrambling."

It took close to 40 minutes for her to find out there was no threat. 

"The worse thing about the whole thing is feeling helpless," Pinney said.

After the alerts and alarms stopped she and her husband got dressed and left their condo, but she said the mood outside had changed.

"You know a lot of people are upset. It created a pause in your life everyone just stopped," she explained.

Pinney and her husband were in Honolulu for a funeral. She said after Saturday's incident they're ready to get back to Florida.