Downed phone tower leaves Loving Co. without landlines

Downed phone tower leaves Loving Co. without landlines

Residents in Loving County are without phone and internet service after a communication tower fell Tuesday morning. This means there could be delay with emergency services.

"Every minute that we lose not being able to respond to a call is very critical," said Chief Deputy Noah Cole. "They don't have any 9-1-1 service. There's no phone service to the county, the sheriff's office."

Calls to the Sheriff's office and other Loving County offices don't go through when dialed.

The 260 foot communications tower left 150 customers without landlines, including local government offices.

"We are at their mercy right now," said Cole. "We don't have really any good communications and if we are inside of our building, our cell phones don't work."

The Sheriff's office uses Winkler County as their dispatch center. So if any calls come in for their area, dispatch then calls Loving county in their office. With landlines down, they have to rely on deputy's cell phones and satellite phones that can be unreliable.

"Any injury that is occurring out there," said Cole. "We are the first ones to get there. The faster that somebody gets to us, the faster we can get there to at least provide basic first aid and right now, that's limited."

Windstream, the company behind the tower, says they hope to have a temporary solution for the areas affected in two weeks.

The case of the fall in still being determined, but the company believes it could have been a failure of a guy wire anchor.

The sheriff's office asks anyone who lives in Loving County and doesn't have a cell phone, to go by the office so that they can talk with you and come up with a solution to have contact with residents if needed.

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