City of Pullman phone systems down after power outage

ALYSEN BOSTON, Evergreen news editor

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City of Pullman phone lines are down after a scheduled power outage Sunday night.

Avista Utilities scheduled an outage between 10 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday in downtown Pullman to allow crews to move overhead power lines underground at the intersection of Pine Street and Paradise Street, Avista spokesperson David Vowels said.

The phone systems for City Hall, the Pullman Police Department and the Fire Department failed to boot properly after power was restored, City Supervisor Adam Lincoln said.

“We’ve got an older phone system,” Lincoln said. “We think it just happened when the power cycled down. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

A required part to restore the system is expected to arrive in Pullman at about 11 a.m. tomorrow, Lincoln said. He estimates the lines will be functional by late afternoon at the latest.

Lincoln said emergency services are still available, as 911 and the police and fire department’s non-emergency lines are powered through the E-911 dispatch center Whitcom.

City employees can be reached by email and cell phone. Lincoln said citizens paying bills and handling other business can get in contact with the city through email.

“This is an inconvenience, and we’ll make sure we take care of [those citizens],” Lincoln said.

The city has considered the cost of replacing the phone system over the past few years after similar issues occurred, Lincoln said, determining it would cost approximately $160,000.