ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia (WVIR) – 5:00 p.m. UPDATE: The City of Charlottesville reports that telephone companies have restored services that affected calls in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. Emergency Communications Center 9-1-1 call volumes have returned to normal and there are no further outage reports. Public security stations are resuming their normal activities.
Greene and Fluvanna County services are also restored.
Officials across central Virginia have reported phone outages that affected 911 capabilities for part of the day on Thursday, July 22.
Charlottesville, along with Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna and Greene counties were among those affected by the blackout.
“When a line goes down, it creates quite a ripple effect,” said David Wells of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, a cut-off line in North Carolina impacted 30 different 911 services.
Charlottesville City Hall and the Albemarle County Police Department tweeted early Thursday that reports of “widespread and intermittent telephone problems” were affecting the area. They both said, “If you are having trouble dialing 9-1-1, please try your call again and / or use text-911. You can also call the ECC [Emergency Communications Center] administrative line at 434-977-9041??
The Fluvanna Co. sheriff’s office posted on Facebook: “Only 911 lines work properly from home phones. Wireless 911 calls are not functional at this time. We have another line that you can call until the circuits are restored. This number is 434-373-5540. Text-to-911 also appears to be in service. We will update our page when service is restored.
“Trying to get these numbers known to the public is really the biggest challenge because everyone is programmed to call 911,” Wells said. “God forbid, there was a motor vehicle accident or a house fire and someone is picking up their cell phone to call 911 and they get that quick busy signal, it’s not working. People just don’t know what to do next, and they don’t know where to look.
The Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office announced that a temporary emergency number – 434-956-0958 – has been set up for anyone trying to call 911.
Greene County’s temporary emergency number is 434-566-2216.
Those in Rockbridge County, as well as the towns of Buena Vista and Lexington, can call 540-572-4200. You can also send an SMS to 911.
NBC29 contacted Lumen, who made the following statement shortly after 1 p.m.:
“On July 22, some customers in central Virginia experienced a service disruption due to a fiber outage. All services are now restored. Our technicians worked hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience. “
However, Charlottesville said around 1:45 p.m. the city was still having phone issues. Albemarle Co. sent a similar message a few minutes later on Twitter.
Internet use and business phone lines were also affected on Thursday.
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