North American Network Operators Group

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"it appears a beaver picked it up and chewed it in half"

  • From: Scot Bryhan
  • Date: Fri Jul 09 00:41:37 2004

> 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)
> Associated Press Writer
>     TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.  _ Northeastern Michigan had a problem to chew
> Long-distance phone service was interrupted for more than six hours after
> 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
> chewing aerial cable, but not this."
> The outage began shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday [July 1st]. Service was
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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.
> all indications, it appears a beaver picked it up and chewed it in half.
> 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
> Western Alpine Lodge in Gaylord. "But we couldn't call any of our
> 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
> said Bruce Wozniak, 911 emergency services coordinator for Alpena County.