UPDATE: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
A small town in Kingman county realized just how valuable cell phones are during an emergency and how dangerous it can be when you can't use them.
After Monday’s storm, almost the entire town of Norwich lost cell service for more than 48 hours.
When a second blizzard blew into Norwich Monday night, Maria Turner's husband ad to be out in the storm because he is a volunteer firefighter.
"He was out three or four times throughout the night checking on the generators trying to keep the water tower going to make sure we had water,” Turner said.
The town never lost their water source but they did lose power and then cell service.
"It's very scary especially when the snow's blowing and he could get stuck and nobody could get to him and he could be stuck out there all night,” Turner said.
Cell service for AT&T and T- mobile was out for for the next two days.
"That provides a problem because there are a lot of people that have canceled their landline subscriptions and they only rely on their cell phone for communication,” Norwich EMS Director Chrissy Bartel said.
EMS Director Chrissy Bartel says their biggest concern was that someone would get stranded on the snow covered roads with their only their cell phones available.
"It is a big concern. They have to be able to communicate with us and be able to call if there's an emergency,” Bartel said.
A representative from ATT&T tells us cell towers need power. When the power goes out, the towers have problems.
AT&T issued this statement:
“The vast majority of our cell sites across the winter-storm impacted areas in Kansas are operating as usual. Our network team has deployed additional resources and is working around the clock to restore power and address any remaining service issues in the region.”
Chrissy Bartel advises plan ahead in case you lose power and need to call 911. Make sure you know where a landline is you can use. If you don't have one, try asking a neighbor or nearby business. Just make sure you know you know where it is before you actually need it in an emergency.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Emergency workers in the Norwich area are warning residents that damage left behind by this week's snow storm could prevent them from calling 911.
Officials say the storm knocked out part of the city's wireless phone system on Monday night. Customers with AT&T or T-Mobile are not able to use their phones in Norwich.
Crews have been working since Monday to restore service. In the meantime, emergency workers are warning residents they can only reach 911 dispatchers through landline phones.
Officials say they hope to have service restored by late Wednesday afternoon.