Thunderstorm Causes Widespread Power Outage and Problems for Central Dispatch

August 5, 2007
Dwayne Page

A severe thunderstorm with high winds, heavy rains, and lightning rumbled over parts of DeKalb County Saturday afternoon causing some damage with downed tree limbs and a widespread power outage.

Director Brad Mullinax says the 911 Central Dispatch Center was also affected. "There was quite a bit of damage across the county. A lot of the county experienced power outages and DTC pretty well took a direct hit at their central office. Around 4:30 p.m., 911 dispatchers contacted me and reported that they were experiencing problems with the administrative 911 line. I arrived at the 911 center shortly after that and discovered that one of our main administrative lines, 215-3000, was not functioning properly. We did some further testing and discovered that our 911 trunks were down as well. I immediately contacted DTC the best way I could because their repair line was down and we weren't even able to contact that number. I called the plant manager at home and he told me he was aware they were experiencing some problems and said he'd give me a call back as soon as he arrived at the central office."

"When I got here and discovered what we had, we took action and forwarded our 911 trunks to Putnam County 911. They (Putnam County) were the secondary piece out for our area. They took our 911 calls and relayed them to us over a mutual aid radio frequency. We actually routed everything to Putnam County. There are some areas of the county on a wireless telephone call that does hit Cannon County's piece out and we did receive a call of a structure fire in the area that hit Cannon County's tower. That was reported to C-Com and in turn they relayed it to us. We did everything we could to try to get those calls routed as soon as we could over to our secondary piece out."

"I have to compliment them (DTC). When I talked to the plant manager, he was trying to do some things from home, but I think he was unable to remotely administer the phone switch from there, so he immediately got enroute. We were their number one priority. They got on our problem first and foremost and within probably an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes after I reported the incident, we started seeing things come back up so I was very pleased with their service."

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