Children tell East Tenn. mother "goodbye" after false missile alarm in Hawaii

PARROTSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Saturday morning, the state of Hawaii made a mistake in sending out a ballistic missile threat alarm.

Judy Welch, who lives in East Tennessee, has three children living there. Her son called her three minutes after he received the alarm.

"It was pretty terrifying," she sighed. "It still is, just the thought that it could be the end for everybody there."

For thirty minutes, she didn't know if her children would live or die.

"To hear my daughter say, 'Goodbye, mom...' that was... I have no words for that. How do you process that? I didn't. I don't," she said. Even hours after hearing it was a false alarm, Welch was still shaking and catching her breath. She said the alarm was alarming in itself.

"It's just incredible that something like that would happen and thank God, thank you Lord, that wasn't real," she raised her hands. "But it presents a new thing to all of us!"

She said she thinks what happened Saturday was a sign.

"I mean, that's what we talked about for a couple weeks, 'whose button is bigger than whose,'" she laughed. "I hope we never experience this as a nation. Ever. Because it's terrifying."