911 outage temporarily hits counties across Minnesota

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Updated: 8:23 p.m. | Posted: 4:51 p.m.

The 911 emergency services were not functioning for several police departments and law enforcement agencies around Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro, for about an hour early Wednesday evening.

The 911 outage appeared widespread, also affecting dispatch centers in northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Several departments reported the service was functional again around 5 p.m. and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks confirmed the outages had been resolved.

Bruce Gordon, spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said counties had to rely on their Plan B.

"Every county has a backup plan and system and you saw many of those plans kind of kick into place once those outages were being reported so that there are backup numbers people can call in case of an emergency," Gordon said.

People experiencing emergencies, who are also having trouble connecting to 911, are instructed to call their local law enforcement agency directly. A list of those numbers can be found here.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the outage, but the 911 provider, CenturyLink, said it was investigating.

"We will provide updates as more information becomes available," a spokesperson for the company said. "In case of an emergency, public safety officials recommend the use of wireless phones to call 911."

According to a Facebook post by the Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks, there were reportedly outages in other states and some calls were still coming through during the outage.

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