Clay was on of three counties crippled Thursday, July 12 when an AT&T fiber optic line buried in the utility right-of-way was accidentally cut by a construction crew.
Kent Neville, Clay County Emergency Management Coordinator, said the damaged fiber optic line affected Clay, Montague, Young and Jack counties.
The outage occurred at about 3 p.m. Thursday, shutting down all Internet and landline phone services. The interruption also disrupted service to AT&T cell phone customers.
The outage caused safety concerns for area sheriff’s offices, shutting down 911 and leaving residents with no way to contact the departments.
Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons said departments in Clay, Jack and Young counties overcame the problem with help from Archer County. The Archer County Sheriff’s Office dispatched calls while the effected departments monitored Archer County radio traffic. Calls also were dispatched by cell phone.
AT&T repaired the line and phone and Internet service was returned to Clay County by 8:45 p.m. Thursday.