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BOSTON MANHUNT: Katie Coffey, former Northampton resident now living in Back Bay, says ‘everyone’ is affected

Katie Coffey, 26, woke up in her Back Bay Boston apartment Friday morning to a series of texts from friends telling her the city was under lockdown and she should stay home.

Soon afterwards, the Northampton native received an automated voicemail from the Boston Alert System that explained why: It said a “massive manhunt” was underway for a second suspect in the Boston marathon bombings. The first had been killed by police early Friday.

Coffey, who works as a digital media planner for Havas Edge, on Huntington Avenue across from where the bombings went off at the marathon finish line Monday, was in Northampton when the explosions occurred. Wednesday was the first day she’d been able to return to her office, which she said is now part of the bombing crime scene.

“Last night, I left work around 9 p.m. and heard the sirens going,” said Coffey, who grew up in Northampton and graduated from the Williston Northampton School in 2004. “This morning, I looked out on my street and the entire Back Bay was empty. It’s been an absolutely insane morning.”

Coffey, who lives alone in her apartment, said in a phone interview Friday that she’d been glued to the TV and her iPhone since waking.

“I’ve heard from people I haven’t heard from in years,” she said. “Social media is where I’m getting my news first.”

Coffey had also heard from her parents, who tried to reassure her that she was safe in her apartment in the Back Bay. “They’d rather I be in western Massachusetts,” she said.

While waiting for another call from the Alert System or an announcement on TV about when the lockdown would end, Coffey said she was trying to stay calm and process the flood of information coming in about the hunt for the bombing suspects.

“It’s hard,” she said. “Everyone I know is somehow linked to someone affected by the bombing.”

Coffey said she has been impressed with the way Boston Police have handled security in the days since the explosions at the marathon.

“I was impressed with how they handled things when Obama was in town yesterday,” she said, referring to the President’s appearance at a memorial service Thursday. “They’ve been helping people feel safe at this very scary time.”

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