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.

Comments (5)
  1. Douglas Millar says:

    It would have made the story less dramatic if it had been mentioned that 911 calls would be re-routed to other PSAPs. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

  2. Carrie says:

    Probably would have made the story *more* dramatic if they mentioned that Grass Valley (and other towns I am sure) had NO phone service, NO cell phone service, and many had NO internet. Some of us? We were in the telecommunication dark. I actually was worried all night about the fact that had there been an emergency, I had no way to get in contact with emergency services since my house phone (landline) and cell phone did not have service. And there seemed to be a news blackout on all other news channels about this, so I think I am switching to CBS 13 as my main news source from now on.

  3. Dayspring says:

    What really happened in Grass Valley, Penn Valley,
    Auburn and other sectors of Nevada County and
    Placer County? There was no internet, and no cell phone service, along with no ATM’s, or credit card
    service at supermarkets. , All of the computers were
    down at the hospital in Grass Valley and doctors and
    nurses were at a standstill. You could not purchase food without a check or cash at Raley’s. Is this a foreshadowing of what is to come when major communications do not work for extended periods of time? America is too dependent upon electricity, computers and satellite networks. It’s time rethink
    what it would be like in a cashless society. We
    need to be more self sufficient and be ready for
    any emergency that otherwise place us in a position
    to where we could not travel, communicate, or even
    buy food. The government has made us to where
    we are fully dependent upon them. They like it that way. Then they can control us. People, it’s time to take back our country.

  4. trained responder says:

    This is why people need to learn to use alternative communication methods. Who remembers ham radios? (short wave radios)
    Those still exist and would have been of immense value in the immediate response to this “disaster.”

    1. Carrie says:

      I get that short wave radios would have been useful, but could anyone at all have foreseen a situation where land lines, cell phones, and internet were all disabled? Even our 911 here wasn’t prepared for all 3 to go out like that…no one was. I think, in todays age, that for a community to be cut off so abruptly is rare.

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