Southeast Nebraska Hit By Phone Outage Authorities Activate

Emergency Numbers


POSTED: 9:21 am CDT April 1, 2010
UPDATED: 11:23 am CDT April 1, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. -- A switch failure caused a emergency phone service outages in southeast Nebraska Thursday morning.

The outage involves Windstream Communications customers and affects both land lines and wireless phones. At least four counties were affected, including Saunders, Cass, as well as parts of Lancaster and Butler.

Anyone trying to contact emergency 911 services will need to make personal contact with police or emergency personnel.

Deputies have been stationed at rural fire stations throughout Lancaster County and are standing by for the public. Five emergency cellular numbers have been activated to receive calls for aid:

* 450-0862
* 430-7518
* 416-7591
* 432-8517
* 450-1810

The county's Emergency Management Director has also activated an emergency operations center. Residents can e-mail the Sheriff's office at this e-mail address.

In Saunders County, residents can call 402-443-8946 from their cell phones in the event of an emergency.

"Their phone may work and they may be able to talk to their neighbors, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will be able to contact the 911 service in their respective counties," said Doug Ahlberg with Lancaster County Emergency Management.

A representative said the company's main switch went down at about 7:45 a.m. Customers can make local calls but not calls outside their area. Internet service has not been affected.

Technicians are working on a fix, the representative said.

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