University of Scranton Student Visiting Hawaii Still Shaken from False Missile Alert

HONOLULU — A false alert went out in Hawaii Saturday morning, warning of an imminent missile attack.

A young woman from Scranton is still shaken after getting that warning while visiting Hawaii.

Stephanie Lepka was on an Army base with her aunt and two young cousins. All were scared for their lives. Then they found out it was all a false alarm.

“It was a crazy, crazy morning. It happened when I woke up, one way to get out of bed,” Lepka said.

The alarms on their phones contained the message: “Missile threat inbound. Seek shelter. Not a drill.”

“The first thing that goes through your head is we’re going to die. We didn’t know what to think.”

Lepka and her family were inside a hotel at an Army base. They got between the bed and the wall, prepared to pull the mattress over them if something happened.

Nothing did. Half hour later they found out it was a false alarm.

“To go right to ballistic missile, how does a mistake like that happen? To go to most extreme, it’s mind-boggling.”

Mistake or not, the 18-year-old University of Scranton student is shaken, angry over the unnecessary panic from a false alarm.

“I’m still shaken from it. Wow, that actually happened. That’s crazy.”

Lepka will be in Hawaii for a couple more weeks until she comes home for her spring semester at the University of Scranton–with quite the story to tell her friends.