911 service restored in Checotah after outage

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 07:28:16-04

CHECOTAH, Okla. -- One McIntosh County town's 911 call center had to redirect calls after an AT&T phone tower experienced an outage on Monday afternoon but was restored by Tuesday morning.

From 911 calls to simply trying to buy something at the store with your credit card, a downed cell tower put a halt to all of these simple tasks when it stopped sending out calls.

"I always bragged to people, you know, I can do without the internet on my phone and all that stuff, but today, I kinda had jitters when I couldn't access the Internet," said resident Dennie Brison.

Many residents in Checotah experienced an "off the grid" moment Monday when some internet, cell phone, land line and business purchasing services went down.

"Several businesses in Checotah that I went to couldn't accept credit cards or make payments or anything unless you had cash," said Brison.

One fiberoptic AT&T cell tower managed to halt the entire town's 911 call center.

"We have currently lost one of our 911 centers, this center here is picking up the 911 calls for them," said McIntosh County's 911 Coordinator Susan Kazmierczak.

The pickup center is in Eufaula and officials say the outages were a major concern for the county.

"We don't know whether people are trying to get through or not," said Kazmierczak. "If you had car trouble or an emergency and tried to call 911 they couldn't get ahold of anyone."

The non-emergency line in McIntosh County was down as well.

"What happens also is, they can't call the admin lines for non-emergencies and they wind up calling 911 with non-emergencies and then tie up the 911 lines," explained Kazmierczak.

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