Long distance and emergency 911 phone service is out in communities along much of Lake Superior's North Shore. Local service remains unaffected.
A Qwest spokeswoman says service has been lost in communities including Grand Marais, Silver Bay, Finlayson and Two Harbors. Joanna Hjelmeland says fiber optic cables were damaged at a site outside Duluth.
"What we believe it is, is steam damage on one of our fiber lines," she said. "The first priority for us is to get to the damage and get it fixed as quickly as possible, and right now we're still working to get it fixed."
People needing 911 emergency assistance have two alternate phone numbers to use; in the Grand Marais area it's 218-387-3030. In the Silver Bay area it's 218-226-6100.