Residents in Pima County, Arizona found themselves abruptly disconnected earlier this week when a nearby Verizon tower failed. Observers say that the cell tower bent in half, severing phone and internet access around the region.
Trico Electric Cooperative personnel told KOLD-TV they cut power to the damaged structure as soon as they realized there was a problem.
A temporary cell tower was put in place in Three Points, in front of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Residents should still be able to reach 911 via this temporary tower, or their landlines. However, locals report that service is unreliable.
“The service is hit and miss,” said Tom Fouch, a cashier at the Three Points General Store. “My wife is on social security and she is disabled; she has health issues, and if we needed to get an ambulance out here…might as well get in your car and drive.”
Fouch said the phone problem started on Wednesday. Fellow resident Moses Mungia agreed, “There was no wind, nothing powerful,” Mungia said, “We just heard what sounded like a car crash but without the screeching tires. It was like somebody ran into a wall and 30 minutes later [the service went out].”
Verizon Wireless has not yet determined the reason for the tower’s collapse and will release information as it becomes available. No injuries were reported, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department stated that they do not believe criminal activity was involved.
October 21, 2019