Vermont 911 officials seeking anyone who tried to call 911 during weather-related outage

Associated Press

Officials on Saturday worked to reach anyone who tried to call 911 during a four-hour stretch when Vermont's emergency phone system failed.

The outage, which was reported just before 5 p.m. Friday, was caused by a weather-related break in a fiber-optic cable belonging to FairPoint Communications, said David Tucker, executive director of Vermont's E911. Tucker said they received word the system was working properly again at around 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. Friday.

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Tucker said Saturday that the outage occurred at a time the system is normally busy.

"We're still trying to determine if there were people who tried to call us but couldn't get through," Tucker said.

During the outage, emergency service providers in Vermont urged people to call for help directly.

Tucker said he was assured during a Friday conference call that the outage was not connected to an ongoing strike by unionized FairPoint workers across northern New England.

"It sounds like it was an act of God," Tucker said.

FairPoint officials didn't immediately provide information Saturday about where the break occurred.