Monday morning about 8:45, September 12, a contractor cut into a fiber-optic cable south of Victor. That single incident eliminated about 90 percent of telephone service to the Bitterroot Valley area south of Victor. Even cell phone service was affected.
Residents could not access their webpages, businesses could not process credit card purchases and Hamilton folks couldn't even call friends in Stevensville, let alone Missoula. The whole valley was affected by the one cable cut.
9-1-1 calls were rerouted after an hour or so and the cable repairs were made by 4pm.
Of course, so close to the 9-11 Memorials, some thought we were under attack, which was not the case.
Broadcasters were notified about the problem and the effort was met with varying degrees of success, but the amount of confusion was high. In the coming days, emergency officials will be discussing the incident and what was learned.