Bumps in rollout of cellphone alerts in Washington State

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A system set up to send emergency alerts to thousands of cellphone users has experienced problems during its rollout in Washington state.

The News Tribune reports that the mobile notification system has helped authorities find at least two missing children as a result of Amber Alerts sent to cellphones in the state.

But it also mistakenly warned people in the lowlands of Western Washington of a blizzard that was happening in the Cascade Mountains, and it alerted others in Western Washington of potential flash floods thousands of miles away, in Puerto Rico.

Still, officials say, the weather warnings have saved countless people elsewhere in the country. They say the system is working despite problems.