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Published September 07, 2010, 07:43 PM

NW MN Phone Service Restored

Phone service has been restored to a large portion of Northwest Minnesota that was without landline phone service Tuesday night. The outage happened because of a fiber optic cable that was accidentally cut near Holt, MN.

Phone service has been restored to a large portion of Northwest Minnesota that was without landline phone service Tuesday night. The outage happened because of a fiber optic cable that was accidentally cut near Holt, MN. Sheriff's officials were concerned because people in certain areas of the outage were not able to cal 911 if needed.

The phones went dead at about 3:30pm Tuesday, and were mostly Wiktel phone lines but the Century Link customers were affected in places as well. The outage included parts of Lake Of The Woods, Roseau, Beltrami, Kittson and Clearwater counties. Wiktel representatives say Century Link customers had their service restored by 8:00pm Tuesday, and that all service was restored by 10:15pm Tuesday.

Wikstrom Office Manager Carrie Taggart says the fiber optic cable that caused the outage was cut by a plowing crew under the highway near Holt, MN. The outage affected over 6,000 customers. Taggart says nothing like this has ever happened before. "There are 100 things that would have to go wrong for this happen. And they went wrong," Taggart says.

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