GALLIPOLIS — Despite brief failures in their communications systems this weekend, the Gallia County 911 Center has been operational throughout the aftermath of Friday’s storms and is acting as a base of operations for the county’s emergency operations’ center (EOC).
According to Gallia County 911 Director Sherry Daines, early Sunday, as well as Monday morning, all of the county’s 911 lines were non-operational for a brief period, and emergency calls could only be received through the regular seven-digit emergency numbers.
Daines reported that, in the event the 911 lines are not functional, contact is made with their 911 resolution center located in Colorado.
“They monitor the 911 lines 24 hours a day. So, if we have problems, that’s who we call to get them fixed and they take care of reporting it to the local [technicians],” Daines said.
The main issue affecting the county’s communications systems has been widespread power outages, as well as system overload, Daines reported; and, as of Monday evening, no further problems had been encountered at the county 911 center, and calls were be being received as usual through their 911 emergency lines.
Those individuals with an emergency who are unable to reach the Gallia County 911 Center through their emergency lines, may utilize the following seven-digit numbers to contact the 911 center:
Gallia County Sheriff’s Office — (740) 446-1221
Gallipolis City Police Department — (740) 446-1313
Gallia County EMS — (740) 446-3126.
The regular seven-digit numbers have remained operational throughout the recent power outage and those experiencing difficulty making calls on their cell phones, are encouraged to use a land-line to make emergency calls, if available.
According to Daines, the EOC has been in contact with AT&T in relation to recent cell phone failures. The company is reportedly working to restore complete service to their cell phone customers in Gallia County and the recent cell phone network failures can be directly attributed to the power outages.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning and Gallipolis Police Chief Clint Patterson also reported on the role of law enforcement in the recent emergency and stated that officers have not been dispatched to any situations specifically related to the power outage, but are assisting other emergency officials.
According to Browning, sheriff’s office staff members have been assisting with the EOC since Friday and Gallia County Work Release inmates and staff have been assisting to unload water and other supplies at the water distribution centers in the county.
“We are trying to assist other emergency officials with distributing water at cooling stations and patrolling those areas that are out of electricity,” Browning said.
Browning further cautioned motorists traveling in Gallia County to be wary of debris that may still remain along the county’s roadways.
“The only thing that we are really cautioning people on is in the area of downed trees and lines. Be cautious in that respect,” Browning stated.
“We’re also asking people to try to check on their elderly neighbors and things like that that would be helpful,” he said.
There has only been one reported injury in Gallia County that can be directly attributed to Friday’s storm.