A fiber-optic cable that was severed by a work crew has cut off 911 service for several northern Minnesota towns, authorities said.
Dewey Johnson, with the St. Louis County Communications Center, said so far the outage has not caused major problems, although it also can cut off individual's electronic communications. He says the cable break is near Aurora.
"It was a contractor who was digging that struck the line, and it's effected phone service intermittently, effects the cell phone service and the hard wire traditional land phone line service up in that area," Johnson said.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said 911 service in Ely, Babbitt, Floodwood, International Falls, McGregor, Aurora, Tower, Two Harbors and Ranier might be interrupted between now and about 9 p.m. Tuesday night, when repairs are expected to be complete.
Residents needing emergency services are being asked to contact their local fire department, or go to the nearest fire department if they can't get through by phone.