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BILLINGS — A fault in a computer system was the reason why an emergency alert message planned to be broadcast to a one-block radius in the Billings Heights was instead sent to everyone in Yellowstone County Monday morning, said KC Williams, director of Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services.Law enforcement officers reached out to the county emergency services department to send a message telling residents in a one-block area to shelter in place due to a hostage situation happening on the 300 block of Stillwater Lane. Instead of the one-block area, the entire county got the message: “Law enforcement issue. Please shelter in place until further notice”. It was sent out to county cell phones, televisions and radios at 8:15 a.m.“Obviously, it causes a lot of confusion. Obviously, that caused some people to not exactly know what to do and quite honestly it was a problem. I guess the good news is it’s better to notify too many people than two little, but unfortunately it went to the entire county and that was a problem with the system that we just identified today,” Williams said.

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