UPDATE: Long distance, 911 calls affected by phone outageA cut cable impacted long distance and 911 service in Jamestown and Valley City, but people could still get through to emergency services by calling 911 and the outage was fixed by 4:43 p.m. Saturday.
By: Sun Staff, The Jamestown Sun
A cut cable impacted long distance and 911 service in Jamestown and Valley City, but people could still get through to emergency services by calling 911 and the outage was fixed by 4:43 p.m. Saturday.
The outage affected 911 and long distance in Jamestown and Valley City, wrote Carrie Amann, a spokesperson for Century Link, in an email.
The outage began at approximately 1 p.m. Saturday, and 911 was rerouted just before 4 p.m. Local calling was unaffected by the outage, so people within Jamestown could call other people in Jamestown and people in Valley City could call within Valley City.
"We knew about it at 12:55 p.m.," said Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.
The same fiber was cut that had been cut on June 14, which caused a seven-hour outage that day. Century Link had repaired the fiber, but it was accidentally cut again by a farmer, which took out services.
Most services were already up and running again by 4:30 p.m., Amann said.
When the outage first occurred, cellphone calls were routed to State Radio in Bismarck. Generally, cellphones account for about 65 to 70 percent of Stutsman County's 911 calls, Bergquist said. By 4 p.m., 911 calls from 251, 252 and 253 prefixes had been rerouted to the county's dispatch office. Calls from Dakota Central lines were rerouted so that they could also be answered by State Radio in Bismarck.
Bergquist said the county's planned purchase of new 911 equipment later this year would help reduce the likelihood of 911 outages in the future.
"That new equipment is going to allow us more ways to connect to that caller," he said.
Service at the Jamestown Regional Airport had not been impacted by the issue as of Saturday afternoon, but Matt Leitner, the JRA manager, said if the outage were to continue, a contingency plan would have to be formed.