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Vital locations lose phone service

Utilities: Hospital, Sheriff’s Station, businesses affected for two hours

Posted: February 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Valley businesses, its hospital, law enforcement and homes were among 1,000 customers who lost land-line phone service for about two hours Friday morning after an AT&T power board in Newhall failed, officials said.

The power board at the phone company’s Newhall central office lost power about 10:30 a.m. and knocked out service for a number of customers throughout Santa Clarita, said Dana Cop, the director of external affairs for AT&T.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Santa Clarita City Hall, Westfield Valencia Town Center and Princess Cruises were all affected by the loss in phone service, Cop said.

Cell phone service was not affected.

It took little more than two hours to figure out exactly what happened, fix the problem and restore phone service, she said.
By about 12:30 p.m., everything was back to normal.

“We had a power board blow, for lack of a better term,” Cop said. “It’s not like flipping a switch. You can’t power everyone up at the same time. It’s a phased-in reboot.”

While phone service was down, calls to the local Sheriff’s Station were routed to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, said Sgt. Darren Harris.

Meanwhile, clinical staff at Newhall Memorial had access to cell phones in case of emergency, said Laura Young, a hospital spokeswoman.

Cop said nothing quite like what occurred Friday morning has happened in the last 16 years while she has worked for AT&T.

“I’ve never had experience with an outage; this is a very rare occurrence,” Cop said. “It was a collaborative effort to make sure we restored service as quickly as possible.”


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