News alert! There are no zombies on the loose in Lake Worth.
“As far as we know,” clarified the city’s public information officer Ben Kerr.
The city had issued a zombie warning after a widespread power failure early Sunday morning left nearly 8,000 customers without electricity for about a half hour. Here’s the city advisory:
“Power outage and zombie alert for residents of Lake Worth and Terminus. There are no far less than seven thousand three hundred and eighty customers involved due to extreme zombie activity. Restoration time uncertain.”
Terminus is a sanctuary location in the zombie-themed television show, “The Walking Dead.”
News of the zombie alert quickly spread on Facebook, causing a 2 a.m. phone call to Kerr to respond to reports that the city was under attack.
The city’s spokesman immediately knew what was going on. This happened before during Hurricane Irma in September.
Lake Worth’s emergency alert system contains thousands of prewritten messages to explain outages, Kerr said. The idea is to have the messages already written so they don’t have to be typed from scratch each time.
“Basically, somebody thought it would be funny to have some zombie messages in there,” Kerr said. “We thought we caught them all during the hurricane.”
As the power went out during that September hurricane, a few messages about the city being under zombie attack went out, but they were immediately flagged and taken down before people noticed, Kerr said.
That didn’t happen on Sunday. The undetected and lone remaining zombie message in the system was triggered about 1:40 a.m. and, unlike the others, it was left standing during the course of the outage.
“We have since gone through the entire system and made sure there are no more zombie messages,” Kerr said. “That will be the last zombie message going out.”
So for now, there’s no reason to be concerned about zombies in Lake Worth. But the city will remain vigilant.
“I will alert anybody if there is a zombie,” Kerr said.
But will we believe him if that happens?
No. We’ve got a boy-that-cried-werewolf situation in Lake Worth. Which is troubling, because if there ever were a plausible location for zombies on the loose in Palm Beach County, downtown Lake Worth would be the spot you’d imagine them to to be.
OK, well after Leisureville in Boynton Beach, and perhaps the entirety of Greenacres. Oh, and maybe a few pockets of west Delray. And every parking lot outside a Walgreens.
Come to think of it, we live in a zombie-rich environment. And zombies would be able to blend in here very easily.
So it’s best we all remain on alert.
With that in mind, I’ve made the following zombie guide to help you decide whether the person you’ve just encountered could be a zombie or is probably not a zombie.
1. Walking while moaning
Could be a zombie: Doesn’t stop for coupons.
Probably not a zombie: If also saying things like, “Umph, my leg’s telling me it’s gonna rain.”
2.Arms extended in front of body
Could be a zombie: If arms are high and straight.
Probably not a zombie: Heading toward a free sample at Costco.
3. Bits of flesh hanging from mouth area
Could be a zombie: Seems unaware of it.
Probably not a zombie: Seems unaware of it while walking out of TooJay’s.
Could be a zombie: Tattered.
Probably not a zombie: Includes white patent leather belt and matching knee socks.
5. In a menacing pack
Could be a zombie: Shambling down the sidewalk.
Probably not a zombie: Pre-boarding a flight at Palm Beach International Airport.