Garbage truck pulls plug on web
February 18, 2017
After more than dozen hours down, Charter Communications internet services were restored just before 10 p.m. Friday.
While internet service was restored in Gardnerville around 4 p.m., service to outlying areas, including Genoa and South Lake Tahoe wasn't restored until around 10 p.m. The Internet went down at around 8:45 a.m.
Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell confirmed that a garbage truck had knocked down an above ground fiber-optic line near the Minden–Tahoe Airport. The incident left Charter customers in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe without Internet, phone and television service.
One Genoa resident said the outage lasted 15 hours in Nevada's oldest town, cutting Internet, telephone and alarm systems.
"We were unable to communicate with anyone and no one could communicate with us well outside of the immediate area," he said in a message to The R-C.
Also affected were other service providers using Charter's fiber-optic line.
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"A connectivity issue is causing a service interruption in the South Lake Tahoe area," Heidi Flato, a public relations official for Verizon in the Pacific market, said in a statement Friday. "Our engineers are aware of this issue and are working with our vendor partners to resolve this issue quickly."
While the issue left many customers frustrated, it did not appear to impact critical services.
The Douglas County School District posted emergency numbers to its web site, after its phones and internet went down due to the outage, .
Douglas County 911 and dispatch continued to function during the outage.
South Lake Tahoe services, including emergency dispatch, operate on AT&T and were not impacted by the outage, City Manager Nancy Kerry told the Tribune Friday.
Jason Roberts, director of Barton Health's information systems, told the Tahoe Daily Tribune that the outage had a small impact on Barton, most noticeably on the phone systems."
A similar incident occurred in 2008 when a truck pulled down cable lines in Washoe Valley, knocking out service to points south.
In 2010, a fiber optic phone line was cut during construction along Heybourne Road north of Stephanie Way. That knocked out 911 service to Douglas County for several hours.
Fiber optic cables are difficult to splice.