Wind gusts culprits behind loss of phone line at sheriff's office

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 30, 2008 - The high winds which whipped power lines and caused short but irritating power outages Tuesday are thought to be the culprits behind Hopkins County Sheriff's Office's loss of service on most of its main phone lines.

A part in the system "burned up" Tuesday night, resulting in a loss of service for the sheriff's department's main non-emergency line. That telphone line affects dispatch, reception, administration and part of the criminal investigations division, Sheriff Butch Adams and Communications Supervisor Ron Lowrie said Wednesday morning.

"Our main line -- 438-4040, the non-emergency line -- is out," Lowrie said. "It's been out since about 5 p.m. yesterday."

The 911 emergency system is still functioning and OK, Lowrie added.

Adams explained that the sheriff's office lost power at some point Tuesday afternoon, kicking on the department's generator. At that point all systems continued to function, but problems were discovered later in the day.

Representatives from the company that oversees repairs to the system indicated that a part had burned up. They were unable to find the necessary part to repair the problem, and will have to search further afield for the equpment.

Unless the part can be found in Tyler, the main phone line will continue to be down another day or two, Lowrie explained.

Anyone who needs emergency help should still call 911. Callers may dial 903-438-4051 or 903-438-4052 to reach someone at the sheriff's office for any other non-emergency matter until the main line is repaired.

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