Fear from the false missile warning in Hawaii yesterday was felt across the country, to right here in Erie. 

"I guess there's a missile inbound for Hawaii, and then it just kinda felt like the world stopped for a minute."

For Tim Wise, and his family, they had to assume the worst. As his younger brother, Brody, called frantically from his military post in Pearl Harbor. Both sides, believing it was the last time they'd ever speak again.

"A big sense of loss already, it was like, I don't know, he was gone already almost. “ said Wise “I mean, you're never going to see him again, you've said your final goodbye and hung up the phone. What do you, there's nothing else that's ever going to happen I guess."

The sense of hopelessness, a feeling shared by former Erie News Now colleague, and current reporter at our sister station KITV in Honolulu, Mackenzie Stasko.

"I was in shock, absolutely. I was in shock.” said Stasko “I was kind of terrified. We live on an island, it’s not like the mainland where you can just go in your basement, and people don't have basements. And so, there really is nowhere to hide."

Stasko was off from work, but was woken up by the alerts. She too, thought her call with her mom, would be her last.

"[I told her] this is not a drill, I think this is the real thing.” Said Stasko “I’m not trying to scare you, but I just wanted to let you know, and tell you that I love you."

After 38 minutes of terror, the message was relayed stating it was a false alarm. The fear lead to a sense of relief, but it came at a cost.

"And to have people say that this was just a false alarm, it's no big deal was kind of upsetting." said Wise

“I definitely think people will be on edge, people are frustrated.” said Stasko “They are trying to figure out how something, this magnitude could happen. It's huge, huge error.”

Mackenzie called Saturday's experience an unfortunate side-effect of a system the region needs to trust, in the event of a real emergency.