Communities across the nation were without the ability to call 911 due to a CenturyLink outage in Louisiana, CNN reported.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, an emergency alert was broadcast to cellphones in San Juan County and beyond informing the public that 911 services were down and to call the local number for emergency assistance. By morning, most of the nationwide outage – including San Juan County – had been resolved. The outage also affected internet access in some locations.
Federal Communications Commissions Chairman Ajit Pai announced in press release that the agency will be investigating the CenturyLink outage.
“When an emergency strikes, it’s critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help,” wrote Pai. “The CenturyLink service outage is therefore completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling.”
CenturyLink is a national telecommunications company that sells internet and phone services on the islands. The company is also the 911 service provider for Washington state.
In the event of a 911 outage or if you are unable to reach that number, local emergency services advise people to call the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office at 360-378-4151 or the alternative number to dispatch at 360-378-4141. Dispatchers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.