Emergency alert over Green Bay gas leak caused widespread concern

Police say the gas leak came from the stove of a house condemned due to unsafe living conditions
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:48 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A gas leak on the east side of Green Bay put people throughout Brown County and even in neighboring Outagamie County on alert due to an apparent glitch in the emergency management’s alert system.

According to the police department, the gas leak came from a house on the 500-block of Edgewood Dr., near Hillside Lane, that was condemned due to unsafe living conditions. The 63-year-old homeowner was inside. Police claim the cause of the leak was an unlit gas stove.

Brown County Emergency Management says a CodeRED alert telling families to evacuate with their pets was intended for a very specific area of 10 or 15 houses. Yet most cell phones in Brown County saw the alert.

“We are told by Brown County Emergency Management that there has been a glitch in the system at the time that the alert went out, so it went out to a much larger population than what it should initially have. So, a cancellation alert was also sent out in response to that,” Jennifer Gonzalez, communications coordinator for the Green Bay Police Department, explained.

The cancellation went out after emergency dispatchers received calls from people all over the county. The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office also said its 911 center was “being flooded” with calls.

Brown County Emergency Management says it’s asking the state’s Emergency Management to look into why the alert system’s software failed.

Neighbors were out of their homes and streets were closed for about 2½ hours.

The scene of the gas leak was midway between Martin Elementary School and Edison Middle School. It happened after students had gone home for the day.

As for the homeowner, he came out of the house upon request and is not under arrest.

People in the area of Edgewood and Hillside were advised to leave with their pets