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Multi-state 911 outage blamed on company working on a utility pole

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(The Center Square) – A 911 outage in several states, including all of South Dakota, is blamed on a company working on a utility pole.

Lumen Technologies verified in an email to The Center Square that it’s a third-party vendor not associated with the company. Lumen is the provider of 911 communications for South Dakota, Nevada and Nebraska, which reported outages, a company spokesman said. No further details were released.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, officials said in a news conference Thursday morning the outage began at 7:59 p.m. The 911 system was restored at 10:38.

Residents were still able to get through to emergency officials by calling administrative numbers or texting with 112 calls received during the outage, said Mike Gramlick, assistant Sioux Falls Fire chief. The communications center averages 114 calls normally during that timespan, he said.

“To our knowledge, we have never experienced an outage of this magnitude and duration and we’re fortunate to have a 24-year span of our team currently so that’s a long time to not have experienced something like this,” Gramlick said.

The South Dakota Public Safety Department said it is working with Lumen on the investigation. The outage affected the system as a whole, according to Brad Reiners, director of communications for the department.

The Federal Communications Commission said in a social media post it is investigating the outage.