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Hills Bomb Threat Impacts Corridor Communities
HILLS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- Hills Bank branches throughout the Corridor were on high alert on Thursday after a threatening call was made to the bank's general information number.
Some of the branches were evacuated, some were searched by bomb squads, and other were simply closed or on alert.
The branches include the location on Blairs Ferry Road in Cedar Rapids, the location in Lisbon, and the branch in Hills -- a big surprise for the small town.
"I looked out my window and I could see a lot of lights, so I came outside thinking there was an accident," but instead, Dianna Strand was met by a police officer who told her to stay inside.
Strand watched as the bomb squad and K-9 unit searched the bank from the window of her apartment.
"I was worried for the kids at the school," she said. "I have two grandkids there."
"As a parent, I was freaking out. Literally, what do I do?" said mother of two Tristan Stanfield.
She was scared for the safety of her children who were at Hills Elementary School, just down the street from the bank. Stanfield found out about the lockdown from her friends on Facebook before hearing about it from the school, she said.
School officials were following protocol: the superintendent showed up to brief staff, and all were following the instructions of law enforcement, they said.
But the fact that the threat could have been meant for any branch in any city was a little confusing.
"If a person is calling in a threat at a specific bank, that's one thing, as opposed to just calling and threatening a bank," said Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek. "Hills Bank has 17 branches, so trying to pin down if we have a legitimate threat at one of the banks, that creates a problem."
Deputies will be following up with the Hills Bank information technology staff to figure out where the call came from.
The bank branches that closed during the day on Thursday have all resumed normal business hours, bank officials said.