The Loop

Residents of Florida city have been receiving hoax zombie alerts since Hurricane Irma

Or so the government wants you to think. During a power outage at 1:45am on Sunday morning, residents of Lake Worth, Florida, received the following push notification, warning them of "extreme zombie activity" in their area. Needless to say, some overly imaginative locals promptly freaked the f—k out.

After power had been restored and the pickup truck militias had returned to their driveways, Lake Worth public information officer Ben Kerr cleared things up in a post on the Lake Worth Live Facebook page, writing "We are looking into reports that the system mentioned zombies. I want to reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently and apologize for the system message."

On Tuesday, Kerr also spoke to Gizmodo, explaining that the message—which also referenced Terminus, a fictional town from The Walking Dead—was not the first alert Lake Worth officials had seen warning of reanimated, brain-hungry corpses shambling up and down Main Street. The city first noticed undead messages in their system back in September, when Hurricane Irma made landfall. They managed to monitor and amend those (and subsequent) messages before they were pushed to public...until early Sunday morning.

Now, our inner conspiracy theorist/kid who played too much Resident Evil at a mentally formative age says this no hoax, but an elaborate cover-up. Obviously some infectious biological compound blew in on the winds of Irma, and Lake Worth, now under covert government quarantine, has been battling a zombie outbreak ever since. These alerts aren't intended for what remains of Lake Worth's citizens, but instead for the outside world, who have yet to hear their cries for help.

But unfortunately, we know, as well as you do, that this is probably just a prank by some local 17-year-old hacker brat having a few laughs in his parents basement in between Fortnite binges. Thanks for the story, kid. Your next Mountain Dew is on us.