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Downed Phone Lines Disrupt Nevada County 9-1-1 Dispatch

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GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – A vehicle accident in Nevada County destroyed phone lines over the weekend, disrupting 911 service to parts of the area and also cutting off cell and landline service.

CAL FIRE dispatchers turned to their backup radio system Saturday after an accident on Highway 49 between Auburn and Grass Valley led to the loss of their 911 system, according to agency spokesman Daniel Berlant.

California Highway Patrol Officer Folke Lilyquist said the driver hit a power pole near Lime Kiln Road, bringing down and damaging power lines on both sides of the state road. The cables were too badly damaged to repair and authorities had to cut the lines to remove the hazard from the roadway.

“We couldn’t suspend them, there was no other way to detach them properly, and time was of the essence because of the amount of traffic,” Lilyquist said.

The incident cut off both cell phone and landline connections, authorities said, and AT&T crews are working through the night to fix the problem.

Backup plans are in effect for the affected 911 dispatchers and authorities do not expect any impact to response times. There is no estimated time when service will be fully restored to phone customers.

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