What was described as a major cut to the fiber optic cable that services the Eastern Sierra wreaked havoc on internet and phone service Wednesday.
Verizon Officials that we spoke to explained that a contractor working on the highway south of Little Lake clipped the fiber optic cable this morning, cutting off service everywhere to the north of the break.
Brad Mettam with Caltrans reports that the contractor was hired by Verizon to move the cable for the Caltrans shoulder widening project at Little Lake.
The break down in communication equipment shut off 9-1-1 phone systems in both Inyo and Mono Counties. Residents were urged to call the police or sheriffs departments directly if there were an emergency.
John Davies with Verizon explained that calls routed through the local exchange would work, but anything long distance could not get through.
Some cell service was down as well and the all circuits busy, message was common when trying to make a call. Verizon Officials explained that cell service is not just tower to tower, but that some cell towers are tied to the land lines.
Credit card and debit machines at businesses were reported down or only working sporadically, leading some restaurants to close down. Two Bishop Banks also shut their doors in the afternoon.
After the break occurred at about 8:30 Wednesday morning, Verizon crews drove in from Victorville to splice the fiber optic cable. Verizon Officials had estimated that the break would be repaired by 5:00 in the evening if everything worked out as planned. It must have, because Internet and 9-1-1 services were back up just before 3:00 Wednesday afternoon.