(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.