Kansas couple in Hawaii recall moments they thought missile was coming

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Debbi and Richard Crowder joked Saturday that the reason they like to be in Hawaii is because at home in Kansas, the temperatures are below freezing, but their day on the island paradise was filled with mixed emotions.

The couple started to see news reports and alerts that a ballistic missile was heading towards the island and everyone needed to seek shelter.

“It was a little bit of heart pounding and not knowing what we should do when they say take cover,” Debbi Crowder said. “We know what that means for a tornado but how do you take cover from a ballistic missile?”

The pair started making their goodbyes, calling their families for what they thought was the last time.

“That fear and the reality that this could be it...was pretty terrifying,” Debbi said.

The couple was told they have 15 minutes to prepare; in total they waited over 35 minutes for an all clear just to find out, the alert was false alarm.

“They pushed the button to panic. Why couldn't they push the button saying they made a mistake?” Richard Crowder said. “Why did it take them so long to retract that statement?”

The Crowders say they are looking forward to coming home in a few weeks, saying that Kansas seems like a less likely target for the ballistic missiles to hit and there is a level of safety and security that comes with that. 

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