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"it appears a beaver picked it up and chewed it in half"
> Scot, > > Here's what we received from the Assocaited Press. > > > -- > Kendall P. Stanley > Managing editor > Petoskey News-Review > (231) 439-9349 > (231) 881-4349 (cell) > > > By JOHN FLESHER > Associated Press Writer > TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. _ Northeastern Michigan had a problem to chew on: > Long-distance phone service was interrupted for more than six hours after a > beaver apparently gnawed through a fiber optic cable. > > "In my 33 years with the company I've never heard of this happening," said > John VanWyck, spokesman for Verizon Communications. "I've heard of squirrels > chewing aerial cable, but not this." > > The outage began shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday [July 1st]. Service was completely > restored by 2:35 p.m. Some 62,000 customers were affected, including > long-distance, dial-up Internet and some cellular phone services, as well as > credit card and ATM machines. > > "This has had a huge impact on our business," Doug Morrison, owner of a > grocery store in Hillman, told The Alpena News. "Seventy percent of our > business pays by credit card. Because of this stupid thing, our machines > won't work. We've had a lot of customers leave $100 in groceries because > they couldn't pay for them." > > The affected area extended from Roscommon County north to Gaylord and east > to Alpena and Rogers City, VanWyck said. > > It took crews a while to locate the source of the problem because the cable > was stretched across a wetland area north of Houghton Lake, near the > headwaters of the Muskegon River, he said. > > The state Department of Natural Resources had lowered the water level in the > wetland by several feet because of heavy rain in recent months, VanWyck > said. The wetland drains into the lake and the river. > > "The lower water levels exposed the fiber optic cable," VanWyck said. "From > all indications, it appears a beaver picked it up and chewed it in half. By > the looks of the ends of the cable, it was obviously chewed." > > The outage was ill-timed for businesses in the area, particularly motels > taking reservations for the Fourth of July weekend. > > "It wasn't as bad as it could have been, because we were able to get some > incoming calls for some reason," said Tom Zamoyski, general manager of Best > Western Alpine Lodge in Gaylord. "But we couldn't call any of our customers > or suppliers, and we couldn't use e-mail. We had a lot of guests in house > and they were frustrated that they couldn't call out." > > Emergency dispatch centers in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle > counties maintained radio contact until long distance service was restored, > said Bruce Wozniak, 911 emergency services coordinator for Alpena County. > >