Lewis, south Jefferson phone service 75% restored

LOWVILLE — By the end of the business day on Friday, a Frontier Communications representative said 75 percent of the phone service lost across Lewis and Southern Jefferson counties was restored and the rest should soon follow.

“The restorations are progressive as Frontier techs systematically replace equipment and systems are brought back online,” Frontier’s Vice President Javier Mendoza via email.

According to Lewis County General Hospital Director of Public Relations Christina Flint, telephone service returned to the facility intermittently Thursday afternoon, but was stable and fully operational by Friday.

Lowville Academy and Central School’s telecommunications were are also up and running by Friday, but many other institutions including Beaver River Central School and the county offices didn’t have their lines working until late-afternoon.

Incoming calls were still not going through at the end of the day, likely because of system re-sets that would have had to be done by each entity.

To address the phone outage, Beaver River set up two temporary numbers, according to their Facebook page, for parents to reach the school in case of emergencies and for “transportation and busing concerns.”

The temporary emergency number is 315-346-1146, which cannot receive voice messages, and the number for transportation issues is 315-544-0535, which can, but “because of the call volume, not all calls will be immediately returned.”

Likewise, the county court system was provided with temporary IP phones by Eric J. Driscoll of the 5th Judicial District according to Lewis County Court Clerk Deborah W. Earl.

The numbers are: County Courthouse Security 315-207-7583; Supreme and County Court 315-207-7580; Family Court 315-207-7581; Juror response 315-207-7582

Frontier Communications customers throughout a large swath of Lewis and southern Jefferson counties lost telephone service early Wednesday due to what is believed to have been a lightning strike to the company’s microwave tower.

Despite the ground-fault protection on Frontier’s facilities, Mr. Mendoza said the lightning impacted the system “in unusual ways” that were “unpredictable and beyond control.”

Technicians will continue to work over the weekend “testing and ensuring systems are operating.”

“We may still find isolated outages occur after our full restoral. We ask for customers to let us know if they are still out of service and we will respond promptly,” said Julie Murtagh, Frontier’s east region senior vice president, thanking customers for their patience.

In total, 2,700 phone lines were disrupted due to the damage.

Mr. Mendoza said the lightning had no impact on Frontier’s internet services.

Customers still experiencing problems with their Frontier phone should call customer service at 1-800-921-8101.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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