CenturyLink is trying to figure out what caused 911 service to go down throughout the entire state of Washington and parts of Oregon early Thursday morning.
Service was fully restored to the affected areas by 6:30 a.m. The outage was first noticed around 1 a.m.
People who dialed 911 were not able to reach dispatchers. Instead, people had to call alternate numbers to reach dispatchers.
The outages in Washington and Oregon have different causes, according to a CenturyLink spokeswoman.
The company is working with the Washington State Emergency Management Division to prevent another statewide outage.
"One of my friends posted on Facebook that it was out and gave a bunch of random numbers to call if there's an emergency that's not 911," said Nicole Lagana, who lives in Vancouver. "That's kinda scary. That's not the best thing to have 911 not working in your area."
In Clark County, the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency notified hospitals, nursing homes and first responders that the system was down. Electronic reader boards along I-5 also displayed alternate phone numbers.
CRESA also sent out an emergency alert via text messages to people who have signed up for the service. You can sign up to receive the emergency alerts on their website.
A spokeswoman for the state Emergency Management Division said the outage is a good reminder for people to keep a non-emergency phone for police and fire on hand.
As a reference, these are the alternate 911 numbers for people living in Southwest Washington:
Lewis County: 360-740-1105
Thurston County: 360-704-2740
Clark County: 360-696-4461
Cowlitz County: 360-577-3098
Wahkiakum County: 360-795-3242
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