By DEUCE NIVEN
A communications cable was cut between Whiteville and Lake Waccamaw Thursday morning, disabling Internet and cell phone service for much of the county, and forcing the routing of 911 calls to an adjacent county.
Beginning before 9 a.m., the outage also impacted Columbus County offices, and it was nearly 2 p.m. before the county was able to e-mail a news release about the problem.
“911 services shall remain uninterrupted during repair to the fiber line,” Columbus County Staff Attorney Amanda Prince said in the e-mail. “If you are having difficulties reaching other county departments, please remain patient.”
Though Prince did not say so, the line that was cut was apparently a Centurylink fiber line, and cell phone sites in the county served by that communications company also went off line, an IT professional for Tabor-Loris Tribune’s parent company, Atlantic Packaging said.
Although tabor-loris.com was not impacted by the outage, we were not able to access the site which is located remotely for several hours. Atlantic in Tabor City has Internet access through Centurylink and other providers, and our technician was able to re-route the newspapers access late Thursday afternoon.
An e-mail inquiry to Centurylink did not receive a quick response Thursday afternoon, though there were indications from other Centurylink customers that service could be restored by 3 p.m.
Look for updates here if events warrant, and more on the story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.