It’s been noticeably quieter in the Sequatchie Valley today. You might’ve noticed the lack of ringing cell phones, text message tones, and other ringtone notifications. The reason is due to a cell phone outage that’s affected Verizon Wireless customers. The locals we’ve asked say the outage happened somewhere after 9:00 AM CDT this morning, and is affecting customers of Verizon in all corners of Marion County — as far north as the Sequatchie County line, and to as far south as Scottsboro, AL to our south in Jackson County.
We spoke to Courtney, a technical support agent with the wireless provider, who was unable to give us any detailed information however assured that they are working to correct the problems and restore service to the affected areas. She confirmed that service towers in Jasper and Kimball, as well as Scottsboro, AL were affected at this time. We also reached out to tech support agents via the web, who’ve informed us that the issues are due to storm damage from last night’s thunderstorms and lightning. Little information was given as to when we could expect service to be restored, however the agent we chatted with online did say it could be anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. Calls to public relations officials with Verizon have not been returned at the time of this writing.
In the meantime, remember your cell phone should still be able to place an emergency call to 911, should you need to make that call…however please only dial 911 if it is an absolute and real emergency (i.e. – medical emergency, auto accident with injury, fire, violence, etc.). Misuse of the 911 system for non-emergencies is not advised and could be a punishable by law. If you have a non-emergency, contact your local police department’s non-emergency number or the Marion County Sheriff’s office at (423) 942-2525 or (423) 942-5667.
We will update you with the latest information as it becomes available.