911 service interrupted in Ark-La-Tex counties - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

911 service interrupted in Ark-La-Tex counties

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Crews in three northeast Texas counties and one Arkansas county have been attempting to restore 911 service after emergency lines failed in the region Tuesday night.

Authorities say that the service failed in Bowie, Cass, and Morris Counties, as well as Miller County, Arkansas, around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, service had been restored in Cass and Miller Counties. Bowie County officials said service has been partially restored, to land line users in the county, but that crews are still working on service for cell phone users. Service in Morris County has still not been restored.

Emergency personnel in these counties say they don't know exactly what's causing the outage or how long it will last.

Bowie County officials said they discovered a problem between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday when the volume of incoming 911 calls suddenly decreased. According to a communications dispatcher, some incoming calls that came through also displayed incorrect numbers.

When officials in Bowie County found the problem, they contacted the Ark-La-Tex Council of Governments, which oversees the regional 911 program. The ATCOG determined the problem was not originating in the specific counties.

But authorities say there are many entities that make a 911 call work behind the scenes -- phone and cellular companies, just to name two -- and that now, crews for each entity are trying to determine what's causing the outage.

One Bowie County official called the fix a "group effort," with no idea on how long it would take the service to be fully restored.

In the meantime, emergency calls will still be answered in the affected counties but need to be routed to each agency.

Bowie County residents should call (903) 798-3877 or (903) 798-3876. Cass County residents should call (903) 756-7511. Morris County residents should call (903) 645-2232 or (903) 645-2233.

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