N.H. Phone Outages Affect 911 Services

MANCHESTER, N.H. --

Phone outages were been reported for Comcast customers in 19 New Hampshire communities, and emergency dispatchers said those affected may not be able to dial 911.

Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman said some customers experienced intermittent phone issues this afternoon, primarily with long distance and international calling.

As of about 6:30 p.m., he said 911 services were working properly.

An investigation has been launched to determine what caused the outage.

The state's 911 dispatch center issued a warning to residents to have cell phones handy to call 911.

"The thought of not being able to call 911 -- it was heartbreaking. I couldn't bear the thought of not being able to call if I needed to," Pembroke resident Katie Mallahan said.

In Manchester, Santoro's Pizza owner Mario Jorjakis said he loses money by the minute when his main phones are down.

The restaurant had to switch to a cell phone to take orders.

"I do 99 percent (of my) business with my phone and if my phone is crippled, my business is crippled," Jorjakis said.

Emergency crews said residents should have a cell phone ready for such an outage. Firefighters said any cell phone, even old models, can be used to dial 911.

Concord Battalion Chief Aaron McIntire, "Any cell phone company in the U.S. -- the FCC mandates the 911 feature is still active."

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