UPDATE: CenturyLink reported at about 4:53 p.m. on Monday that all phone service in Hood River County had been restored, including 911 lines. The Hood River County Sheriff's Office said they have tested the lines and will continue to monitor them for continued service. Residents can now call 911 for any emergencies.
HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- CenturyLink is responsible for a turbulent two days of intermittent 911 outages in Hood River, Skamania, Klickitat and Wasco counties.
In all four counties, 911 lines aren't currently working. In addition, CenturyLink landlines in these areas are not functioning, so businesses in Hood River and surrounding areas are without phone service.
Hood River County Sheriff Matt English said thousands of people are affected by the outages.
"We were trying to take our son to the doctor this morning," he said, "and we couldn't get through to the office on the phone. We had to go to the office and bang the door."
While 911 lines are down, Hood County residents have been asked to call 805-399-2711 to report any emergencies.
From a public safety perspective, we're really concerned. Because we rely on a public phone system, this is really hampering our ability to respond to an emergency. -- Hood River County Sheriff Matt English
CenturyLink did not return any calls from KGW, but they told Hood River County officials the outages stem from a hardware issue in The Dalles. The company told Hood River County public safety officials they're working hard to fix the issue and hope it will be resolved later Monday.
"From a public safety perspective, we're really concerned," English said. "Because we rely on a public phone system, this is really hampering our ability to respond to an emergency."
It's been a chaotic two days for Hood River County.
The first of five alerts from the Hood County Sheriff's Office came at 5:48 a.m. on Sunday, reporting the county's 911 center was experiencing a phone outage that was affecting the 911 lines. Residents were told to call their local fire station.
Eleven hours later, at 4:33 p.m., a second alert reported the 911 lines were back up and running, only to be followed by a third alert at 6:16 p.m., saying 911 lines were down again.
After the third alert, residents were told 911 calls were being rerouted through a voice over internet protocol (VoiP) line and that if residents got a busy signal, they should hang up and call again.
On Monday morning, at 1:41 a.m., a fourth alert said 911 lines were still down and residents were asked to call 541-386-2121 or their local fire department for emergencies. But a fifth alert, at 9:13 a.m., said residents should instead call 805-399-2711 -- a Santa Barbara area code -- to report any emergencies.
In addition, local fire stations, where residents were previously instructed to direct their emergency calls, were now reported to be manned but without phone service.
A Monday morning news release from Skamania County, Washington, just north of Hood County, reported some residents have been unable to call 911. The county also said CenturyLink's network phone and routing equipment is to blame.
All 911 calls are being rerouted to Clark County, which is forwarding the information to Skamania County.
A news release from Klickitat County said they have had intermittent service interruptions and a failure of their 911 network. Emergency calls to 911 are currently being routed to Clark County, which is forwarding the information to Klickitat County.
For this reason, county officials urge residents to submit non-emergency complaints or information through their emergency management email.