Internet service was cut to TDS customers in Surface Creek Valley on Sept. 7. due to a cut cable.
Cedaredge officials said that responders were forced to use cell phone services to communicate with each other during the outage. Town hall communications were disrupted.
At Orchard City, the town lost its TDS phone service but had internet access through local provider RISE.
Cedaredge Foodtown was forced to accept cash only payments because of the mishap. This was the case for many businesses unable to connect to process credit card purchases.
The Cedaredge Library had internet service because they also use RISE internet access service.
According to a TDS official, "A third party contractor, not hired by TDS, was doing directional boring on Highway 92 in Paonia and cut buried TDS fiber optic lines in two locations, 200 feet apart at approximately 11 a.m. on Sept. 7.
"After arriving on the site and assessing damage, TDS technical teams had to excavate a significant portion of the site to uncover the damaged fiber, replace the optic lines and splice them back together. Local crews were on site for over 12 hours making the repairs and then needed additional time to rebury the cables.
"TDS was able to reroute 911 traffic to make 911 services available within an hour and fifteen minutes of the cut; however, the remaining services were not restored until approximately 10:30 p.m. that evening. TDS customers with local land lines were able to talk with each other, but any network traffic such as long distance or internet was not accessible. Wireless carriers often use land line networks as part of their base infrastructure which is why some wireless cell carriers were also impacted.
"Fiber optic lines are strands of glass in protective casing. Restoring fiber optic lines often require a significant amount of work versus a copper land line type incident. When a fiber line is damaged, it breaks glass at the site and also sends shatters down the line making the length of the excavation longer than just a single site. TDS is investigating the situation today and will follow up with identified parties."
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.