MADISON COUNTY, IL (KMOV.com) – The number to call in an emergency had its own emergency Friday in Madison County.
A construction crew putting in a new drainage pipe in Pontoon Beach accidentally cut a fiber optic line Friday morning, cutting off 911 services for all of Madison County.
Officials said the whole county was without 911 services since 9:45 a.m.
A limited number of cities were able to restore 911 services by switching to KNOX boxes, which are satellite 911 systems set up at remote locations. In Granite City, 911 operators moved from the police department to the old AT&T building, where they worked off a folding table. When a 911 call came in, operators would use police department radios to relay the information back to the police department where other employees would dispatch a police car.
Residents are now advised to attempt 911 for an emergency call. If 911 does not work, residents are asked to call the main number for the specific department in the jurisdiction.
“Our main thing right now is letting the public know if you need emergency services and can’t get through, call the local department. Land lines still work. And here in Granite City it’s 618-877-6111,” said Jeff Connor with the Granite City Police Department.
A team of AT&T technicians was on the scene all day where the fiber optic line was cut. They were hoping to have the repairs made and 911 service restored to Madison County by sundown Friday.