A contractor working for OPALCO dug into a CenturyLink fiber cable in Friday Harbor and put 911 and long-distance phone services out of service for about 12 hours on Wednesday, July 2nd. Technical staff and management from OPALCO and CenturyLink worked cooperatively to repair the broken fiber. An investigation is underway into the adequacy of the utility location services which are always performed before digging.
“We apologize to all those inconvenienced,” said Assistant General Manager Foster Hildreth, “and send our gratitude to the team who worked late into the night to make repairs so that the outage didn’t extend into the holiday weekend.”
Island Fire and EMS departments responded to the outage with on-call paramedics, door-to-door public awareness calls and additional stand-by volunteers. In case of a 911 outage, San Juan County residents are encouraged to try the land line number for their island, or go to the fire station for help. It’s also important to check on your neighbors and anyone you know who may be at risk. The OPALCOcares network at island ferry landings is an additional safety net for connection via the Internet.