TWIN FALLS, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) UPDATE: Phone lines have been restored as off 9 pm Wednesday.
Original story: A severed phone line is affecting emergency service dispatch in Jerome and Lincoln counties.
Wednesday morning a third party construction company accidentally cut a Century Link fiber optic line here on blue lakes.
As a result 911 calls for SIRCOMM have been re-routed to Twin Falls City dispatch.
"At approximately this morning at 10:52 I received a call from Century Link 911 repair and they advised me that there was a system outage affecting our 911 center, so I made some phone calls into the center and realized that we didn't have any phone lines coming in, there was no ringing,” said SIRCOMM director John Moore.
When the system goes down there are protocols in place to make sure emergency calls are being answered.
The calls were directed to Twin Falls dispatch until cell phones were put into place at SIRCOMM
Within Jerome County other services have been impacted as well.
"For our office it has been slowing things a little bit for the deputies to get their job done due to the telephone lines being bypassed. As far as the sheriff's office here, it has pretty much shut down the drivers licenses due to the fact that they are unable to use the phone lines for their divers license processing,” said Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall.
When the system fails citizens can be kept up to date on situations like this and receive alerts.
"I would like to remind the citizens that they need to go the SIRCOMM website, www.sircomm.com, and click on the CANN system, which also covers the city of twin falls and sign up for the emergency notification. In the event that something like this happens or a natural disaster, SIRCOMM or the city of Twin Falls can send out messages through your cell phones and your home phones if they are still working and advise you of what is going on and what needs to be done. Today is a good point and case for this, because we lost 911 services in two counties and those people without cell phones had no way to contact 911,” said Moore.
As far as officials know there were no emergency calls missed as a result of Wednesday’s incident.
Officials with Century Link would like to remind everyone to contact utility companies before digging.