Some agencies were able to take 911 calls Friday morning, but police and fire authorities recommend people dial alternate emergency numbers if they experience issues.
Many Western Washington agencies began receiving 911 calls again on Friday morning after CenturyLink network issues had prevented callers from getting through to call centers. Some systems still aren’t fully running, and emergency officials are advising people to call alternate numbers if they can’t get through.
Law-enforcement agencies throughout Western Washington warned of busy signals and other possible problems when calling 911 Thursday evening. Calls in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Thurston counties were working Friday morning, but call centers and county officials said they can’t be sure systems are fully restored, as that depends on CenturyLink. The 911 outage did not affect Snohomish or Whatcom counties, according to the call centers’ social-media posts.
King County spokesman Cameron Satterfield said systems appear to be working again, but they’re still being tested to make sure everything is fixed. While most Western Washington call centers were reporting receiving calls Friday morning, some agencies have yet to return to a fully functional system, such as Bellevue Fire Department.
Law-enforcement and county officials are advising residents to have alternate emergency numbers on hand just in case.
Seattle: 206-583-2111 and 206-625-5011 or text 911
University of Washington Police: 206-685-8973
King County: 425-401-7788 or text 911
Bellevue and Eastside: 425-577-5656 or text 911
South King County: 253-852-2121 or text 911
Unincorporated areas of King County: 206-296-3311 (This number also works for the following agencies, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office: Town of Beaux Arts Village, City of Burien, City of Carnation, City of Kenmore, King County International Airport, City of Maple Valley, King County Metro Transit, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, City of Newcastle, City of Sammamish, City of SeaTac, City of Shoreline, Town of Skykomish, Sound Transit and City of Woodinville.)
Kitsap County: 360-308-5400 or text 911
Kittitas County: 509-925-8534
Pierce County: 253-538-3240, option 4; and 253-798-4722
Thurston County: 360-704-2740 or text 911
Snohomish County: 360-654-1204 and 425-407-3999 or text 911
Skagit County: 360-336-3131 and 360-428-3211
Island County: 360-654-1204 and 360-679-9567
Whatcom County: 360-654-1204, 360-676-6911
Tacoma, Fife and Fircrest: 253-627-0151
Snoqualmie: 425-888-3333 and 425-837-3200
Issaquah Police: 425-837-3200
Chelan and Douglas counties: 509-663-9911
Internet outages affected customers across the country Thursday. Outages have been reported near Seattle and Tacoma as well as Portland, Boise and Salt Lake City, according to CenturyLink’s outage map.
The company said in a tweet Thursday that it estimated service would be restored around 1 a.m. Friday, but discovered additional problems.
A 911 outage also occurred in 2014 and lasted for about seven hours, according to previous Seattle Times reporting. CenturyLink blamed the statewide outage on a third-party vendor but was fined $2.85 million in 2016 by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. T-Mobile was fined $17.5 million in 2015 for two nationwide 911 outages.
The Federal Communication Commission announced Friday that it will investigate the nationwide CenturyLink outage, which affected 911 service in multiple spots across the county.
“When an emergency strikes, it’s critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. “The CenturyLink service outage is therefore completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling.”