AT&T restores service to dispatch centers

AT&T restores service to dispatch centers

(WOIO) - Multiple dispatch centers around northeast Ohio reported problems Tuesday with both 911 and nonemergency lines. Affected counties included Summit, Medina, Portage, Mahoning and Stark.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, AT&T officials say, "Due to a burst steam pipe in a switching office early this evening, some AT&T customers in the Akron area may be experiencing issues with wireless and wireline services. Technicians are onsite and restoration is in progress. We expect service to begin restoring for impacted customers by 9:00 pm tonight. We apologize for this inconvenience."

The pipe burst inside the building and damaged generators used to charge backup batteries that usually kick in when there's an issue. So AT&T's backup system was soaked and couldn't power up. That killed cell phones and 911 landlines for hours.

"No, we haven't had a problem like this. It's not a typical problem. We got to look at what we can put in place to prevent this from happening in the future," said Stephen Kristan with AT&T.

Officials sent up a command center in Summit County and worked quickly overnight with damage control experts from AT&T to get 911 lines up and running.

"911 calls weren't coming in, but alternative phone calls were coming in, so that way we had radio communications with all of our communication centers, so we could tell them right over the radio," explained Valerie DeRose, with the Summit County Emergency Management Agency.

Around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, AT&T said all services affected have been restored. AT&T says technicians completed repair work Wednesday afternoon and services are currently running normally.  

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