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Verizon Wireless: service is restored after massive outage across the state

(FILE/KOKH)

Verizon Wireless says service is restored after a massive outage left thousands of customers across Oklahoma without coverage Wednesday.

"Verizon Wireless experienced an interruption in service for customers in Oklahoma today," said Jeannine Brew, a spokeswoman for the company. "It was caused by the rare occurrence of two separate fiber cuts on different lines, impacting the redundancy built into our network. Engineers were able to resolve the issue and service was restored by 2 PM CT."

Oklahoma Verizon customers woke up Wednesday morning to no cell service, data or internet. Social media users from Oklahoma City, Norman, Tulsa, Newcastle, Yukon and other areas all tell FOX 25 they did not have coverage for much of the day.

The outage also impacted emergency services. Since the Oklahoma City police and fire departments rely on Verizon, the laptops inside their cars didn't work. There was no reported issues responding to emergency calls, but those trying to dial 911 had problems.

"Coming down off the escalator, I noticed there were a couple of people standing around and an elderly lady laying on the floor," said Mark Beutler, a Verizon customer who went to 50 Penn Place for lunch. "And instinctively reached for the cell phone to call 911. No service. Luckily there was another person there who had a different carrier and she was able to call for help."

Beutler wonders what could have happened if that person hadn't been there.

"How long would it have taken for paramedics to get here? It’s crazy," he said.

The CDC reports more than half of American homes only have cell phones. Land lines can be more dependable in the event of a storm or service outage. A satellite phone is another good option in an emergency, but it's an expensive alternative to a cell phone. HAM and CB radios may also work in some situations.

"It makes me really glad I still have my land line," said Beutler. "Bottom line, it just makes you think what you would do if technology was no longer around."

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