By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG — Snyder County was one of several county 911 centers in Pennsylvania that was unable to receive landline calls for several hours Sunday.
Chad Aucker, the county 911 coordinator, said the problem arose at 7:36 p.m. Sunday when a crew working on a water line in the Scranton area struck a Verizon fiber-optic cable that routes emergency call to several counties in the state.
“When the central office experiences a problem, our hands are tied,” said Aucker, who was in contact with Verizon officials Monday.
The county reported the problem to the public and encouraged the use of cell phones, which were not affected, or to call local police in the event of an emergency.
The ruptured line was repaired and by 4 a.m. Monday landline calls were getting through, he said.
Also affected by the cable break, according to the company, were Northumberland, Bradford, Lycoming and Schuylkill counties.
Northumberland County Emergency Services Director Stephen Jeffery said there was no impact on landline calls and the 911 center was “operating as usual” apart from assisting Snyder County by picking up some of its calls during the incident.
Aucker said a back-up plan that allows the county to transfer emergency calls to neighboring 911 centers worked for some of the calls and he’s requested a list from Verizon of any potential calls that were missed during the night.