False-alarm siren at Harris Nuclear Plant causes commotion

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Nuclear plant false alarm causes commotion
Duke Energy will be out Saturday to try to determine the cause of the false alarm at Harris Plant.

NEW HILL, NC (WTVD) -- A siren Friday afternoon at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant was a false alarm according to Wake County Emergency Management.

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That may be the case, but it still put quite a scare in area residents.

The malfunction happened around 1 p.m., specifically near Apex and Cary.

A recorded message from emergency management was sent to several residents of Apex and Cary following a siren going off from the Harris Power Plant.

There is a system of warning sirens in a 10-mile radius around the plant.

"Usually I just hear it do one or two hoops or whatever and that's about it," said Arthur Boyd, who lives nearby. "And I just figure that's just a test and don't worry about it."

Boyd lives near one of Duke's sirens off Apex Barbecue Road and wasn't immediately alarmed.

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"I would have expected some additional follow up from either my phone giving me a message," he said.

Late Friday evening, a representative from Duke told ABC11 that it was only one of their sirens that malfunctioned. It was the one on Jenks Road near Walmart.

"Duke Energy's Harris Nuclear Plant is operating safely," said Brandon F. Thomas, a Duke Energy senior spokesman. "Duke Energy is actively working with Wake County and the State of N.C. Emergency Management to determine why it sounded."

ABC11 has learned that technicians will be out Saturday morning at 10 a.m. to figure out what went wrong.

Duke said they will conduct a brief test, so residents will hear a siren or a series of several at full volume.

But there's no reason to be alarmed - it will be just a test.

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