Service restored after 911 outages in Oregon and Washington

, Posted: Thu, April 10 2014 at 4:47 PM, Updated: Thu, April 10 2014 at 4:51 PM

Service restored after 911 outages in Oregon and Washington

(Oregon Public Broadcasting) Emergency technicians are working to find out what caused 911 outages across Washington and in a couple of Oregon counties Thursday morning.

CenturyLink says problems started at about 1 a.m. in Sheridan, where the company has an office.

Mark Tennyson with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management says 911 centers in Tillamook, Lincoln City and Toledo were affected for about two and a half hours.

At the same time, 911 centers across Washington were knocked out, but Jan Kampbell with Centurylink says the two problems are thought to be independent of each other.

"I would not say that it's a coincidence. But what I would say is that (it) does not appear to be a related instance with the outages," Kampbell said.

When the outage was noticed by Clark County, it displayed an alternative number for 911 on freeway reader boards, as well as alerted hospitals, jails, police, fire and medical facilities.

Kampbell said Oregon's problems were fixed by 4 a.m.; Washington's lasted until about 6:30 a.m.

She said the outages were intermittent, so callers could get through on landlines sometimes and on cell phones at other times.

"So there were times when I was doing test calls from my home on my landline. And there were times when I was able to get through to 911. And then other times when I was unable to. And then I would make calls from my cell phone and there were times when it would go through to 911 on a test call and other times when it was not going through," Kampbell said.

She did not know at this stage whether anybody in trouble in either state tried to make a 911 calls and couldn't get through.

According to a Washington state emergency official, there may still be lingering issues with VOIP (voice over IP) callers.

The Washington State Patrol’s Sgt. Jason Hicks told KUOW some 911 calls were missed," So 911 calls were made and they did not go through. They nature of the 911 calls that’s unknown we may never know. But we do know that 911 calls were missed." 

Update 8:40 a.m.

Oregon and Washington's 911 systems are back up and running again after outages this morning.

Jan Kampbell with CenturyLink says Oregon's problems started at about 1:00 a.m. with a hardware problem in Sheridan and then spread across the state. It was fixed about three hours later.

She says Oregon and Washington's outages started at the same time. Washington's lasted until about 6:30 in the morning.

She says the outages were intermittent, so callers could get through on landlines sometimes and on cell phones at other times.

"It was an intermittent outage. So there were times when I was doing test calls from my home on my landline. And there were times when I was able to get through to 911. And then other times when I was unable to. And then I would make calls from my cell phone and there were times when it would go through to 911 on a test call and other times when it was not going through," Kampbell said.

She did not know at this stage whether anybody in trouble in either state tried to make a 911 calls and couldn't get through.

According to a Washington state emergency official, there may still be lingering issues with VOIP (voice over IP) callers.

Anna Pendergrass, head of the Clark Regional Emergency Services, told KGW she was told a network card in the system was faulty. When CenturyLink went to replace it, the system crashed.

Pendergrass said there have been outages in the past but none this long. She said she would be asking state officials later Thursday why no backup system kicked into place, KGW reported.

Update: 6:35

Centurylink service in Yamhill County has been restored and the 911 lines are working again.

Police & Fire:

Vancouver Police Dept.: This message is being sent on behalf of Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA).

911 lines are down in several counties in Washington. Alternate emergency only numbers for members of the public to call are being listed below. These back up numbers are for emergency only until the regular 911 lines are open again.

Clark County: 360-696-4461

Cowlitz County: (360) 577-3090 or (360) 577-3084

Lewis County: 360-740-1105

Wahkiakum County: 360-795-3242

According to KGW, the public is asked to contact the business lines of the offices in the Public Safety Answering Points.

Additional numbers:

 

    Benton County: 509-628-0333
    Chelan County: 509-663-9911
    Clallam County: 360-4174970
    Clark County: 360-696-4461
    Cowlitz County: 360-577-3098
    Douglas County: 509-663-9911
    Grays Harbor County: 360-533-7880
    East King County (Bellevue area) : 425-577-5656
    King County Sheriff: 206-296-3311
    Lewis County: 360-740-1105
    Mason County: 360-427-7761
    North Pacific County: 360-875-9397
    North Snohomish County: 425-407-3970
    Pierce County Sheriff: 253-798-4722
    Pierce Couty Fire/Medic: 253-588-5217
    Seattle: 206-583-2111
    South Snohomish County: 425-775-4545
    Skagit County: 360-336-3131
    South King County (Kent area): 253-852-2121
    Tacoma: 253-627-0151
    Thurston County: 360-704-2740
    South Pacific County: 360-642-9397
    Whatcom County: 360-676-6911

More numbers are listed here from stations KPLU and KUOW in Seattle.

(Photo courtesy of OPB)

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