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Area phone outage affecting dam, hospital and about 340 others

Updated 9:30 pm, 2/16/17


The phone service outage in the Grand Coulee Dam area still has no end in sight.

Crews will be working through the night on the cable damage. From a power outage and from excessive water. Here's the latest full press release from the company:

A CenturyLink customers in Coulee Dam and surrounding areas out of service

SPOKANE, WA. – CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL)

Due to an earlier power failure and extensive water damage, cables in downtown Coulee Dam are out of service impacting approximately 1,000 voice customers in Coulee Dam and the surrounding communities.

Technicians are on-site and will be working through the night to repair the cables and restore service.

Customers impacted by this service outage should use cell phones to contact 911.

Our earlier post:

Due to the extent of the damage, we cannot anticipate when this service will be restored.

We will provide updated information as it becomes available.telephone service outage for Centurylink customers in the Grand Coulee Dam area will, the company thinks, be short lived.

A spokesperson for Centurylink said that although there have been several outages in eastern Washington today, including Ephrata and Omak (Thursday, Feb. 16), which may have stemmed from an electrical transformer failure in Ephrata last night, Coulee Dam’s problem seems to be “pretty much isolated.”

Local crews are working on the problem, which should be addressed today. “We’re making progress,” said spokesperson Kerry Zimmer.

Callers to customer support may be told it may be a week before a tech can fix their problem, but those customer representatives don’t have specific outage information.

Zimmer said about 340 customers in the Coulee Dam area are without service, including Coulee Medical Center and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at Grand Coulee Dam.

At Coulee Medical Center, internal phones between departments also don’t work, said Director of Communications Melanie Slatina, making for a little more exercise than usual as workers have to walk across the facility to deliver messages, or just use email.

Patients are unable to call in, however, but that doesn’t stop them from getting medical attention.

“People are just coming in, and we help them as they come in,” Slatina said.

At Grand Coulee Dam, Public Affairs Manager Lynne Brougher said their internal phones are working, but they can’t call out or receive calls from outside their system.

Several other local businesses have also reported being without phones.

At the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, which buys its service from LocalTel, Peggy Nevsimal said her phone is still working.

Contacts at the Tribal Tribune, in Nespelem, had been out of service earlier but reported that it was restored just before noon.

CenturyLink tweeted the following earlier today:

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