Phone Situation Improving, Officials Say
Update: The north country's phone problems continued into Friday, but the situation appears to be improving.
Jefferson County officials say the 911 system is and has been working, but they are having problems calling other phone numbers, whether they are cell phones or land lines.
Then, they say, they'll try the same number again and it works.
The problem started Thursday afternoon when a Verizon fiberoptic line was cut in the Syracuse area.
(Editor's note: there are mildly conflicting reports about the cause of the outage. Emergency officials told us Thursday that Verizon told them a fiber optics line in Cicero was cut. A Verizon spokesman subsequently told reporters a truck in Central Square, Oswego County, pulled a line down.)
Following is our coverage from Thursday:
Intermittent telephone problems affecting both 'land lines' and cell phones were reported across the north country Thursday afternoon.
The cause? A fiber-optics cable in Cicero NY, a suburb north of Syracuse, was cut.
Joe Gilbert, Director of Emergency Services for St. Lawrence County, said he had reports of problems across St. Lawrence County, though 9-1-1 service there and in Jefferson County was unaffected.
In both counties, firefighters were being asked to man local fire stations as a precaution.
Gilbert's information mirrored what posters on the 7 News Facebook page reported. In the space of an hour, we had reports of phone problems from Massena to Adams to Edwards to Alexandria Bay.
(If you have phone problems, let us know on our Facebook page.)
The phone problems were odd - sometimes there is no dial tone, sometimes there is static and sometimes the call goes through.
In St. Lawrence County, an 'all circuits busy' message was reportedly common.
In Lewis County, 911 supervisor Cheryl Lalonde said the county's emergency systems were functioning normally. Much of Lewis County is served by Frontier Telephone, not Verizon, and Lalonde said those areas are not affected.
As for when normal service will be restored, Gilbert said "What they (Verizon) told me was they were on the scene, but they didn't know themselves."
Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown reported it was experiencing sporadic issues with landline and cellular phone service into and out of the facility.
Saturday, May 25, 2013, Watertown, NY
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