911 restored; calls going through after service down for 5 hours

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After a five hour outage on Saturday afternoon, tt appears that 911 service has been restored across the state.

Residents in Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties and the western portion of Hennepin County were affected when the emergency system went down. The outage apparently only affected those who used their landlines rather than their cell phones when dialing 911 to report an emergency.

Callers could reach their local law enforcement offices by dialing the full number rather than 911.

The Star Tribune reports that representatives of CenturyLink now think the outage was caused by a hardware problem, but WCCO quoted Century Link’s Joanna Hjelmeland,who says it's not known what caused the service to go down.

“Part of the restoration process is figuring out the exact cause. We have some strong leads that are being investigated right now, but right now we don’t have a cause,” Hjelmeland said.

Stearns County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Robert Schwegel said the office learned of the outage shortly after noon when they callers dialed the office number to say they had gotten busy signals when calling 911. Schwegel said the 911 service was restored within about an hour for callers in St. Cloud, but remained out until about 4 p.m. for other parts of Stearns County.

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