Phones Ringing Again in Andrews & Gaines County

By Camaron Abundes  
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS- The phone lines are ringing again in Andrews and Gaines County after a six hour communication blackout caused by a Midland land owner who severed an AT&T fiber optic line on his property. AT&T crews fixed the line by 9pm Thursday.

Emergency crews in Andrews has to re-route emergency calls to Martin County. In Gaines County, the calls went to Martin and Dawson County.

"I think it's crazy," said Cathy Stone, "Usually I don't have cash, usually I just have credit with me but I am driving through form out of town and there is no cell service to get a hold of anyone."

ATM and debit/credit card machines were also out.

"That's why I carry a little bit of cash with me, just in case," Ricky Feland, who filled up at the 7-11 just after work, said.

Around town things continued at a slower pace.

"We're totally isolated from the outside world some of the cell phones work and some do not," Andrews County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Cook said.  "We do have our two-way radios and we do have ways of making communication happen."

At Willow Creek, a gift boutique on Main Street asked customers to pay by cash check or manually swiped credit cards.

"I would have never imagined almost the whole town of Andrews not having phone lines and cell phone lines and credit card lines. It's all down," Tammy Kaufman said.