Phone lines to be repaired today |

Phone lines to be repaired today

— Some 1,500 phone lines in the Walton Creek area were still out of service Thursday evening but were expected to be up and running by this morning, according to a Qwest spokes woman.

Edie Ortega, who works in the Denver area for Qwest, said the exact cause of the broken line is still under investigation. The break occurred Tuesday evening.

Inital reports from Qwest were that the break in service was supposed to be fixed by Thursday morning and then Thursday evening.

Ortega said the repair has taken so long because a special cable had to be ordered, which arrived Wednesday evening. The presence of an electric line and a water line also has hampered repairs.

Ortega said the broken service included residential and business customers.

Art Fiebing, assistant chief of police for the city of Steamboat Springs, said Thursday he was unaware of the outage and that Qwest should have informed the city.

“Any time anyone is without 9-1-1 service, it’s unacceptable,” Fiebing said.

Janice Ling, director of communications for the dispatch center in Steamboat Springs, said her department found out about the outage from an ambulance crew worker Wednesday but received no official word from Qwest.

Ling and Police Sgt. Jerry Stabile said they had not heard of any situations in which someone needed emergency services and were hampered by the cut phone service.

Stabile said a “good percentage” of calls are received from cell phones, which probably lessened the severity of the situation.

“Ten years (ago) this might have had a greater impact,” Stabile said.

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