Construction crews damaged a fiber optic line in Kalispell Thursday morning, causing Internet shortages throughout the Flathead Valley and forcing the Flathead Emergency Communication Center to route its 911 calls through Missoula.
According to a press release from Flathead Emergency Communication Center (FECC), the construction crew cut a fiber optic line around 9:25 a.m., causing 911 calls to stop being delivered.
The damaged line also affected service to Internet service providers Montana Digital, Blackfoot and Centurylink.
After attempts by emergency services personnel failed to route the 911 lines to FECC’s administrative phones, as well as to Whitefish’s backup line, the lines were rerouted to Missoula 911.
A local Centurylink crew is working to repair the fiber line, and the work is estimated to be complete by 7-8 p.m.
Flathead County 911 calls will continue to be answered in Missoula until service is restored.