Phone and internet outages plague central and eastern Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Phone and internet outages were reported across Iowa on Thursday after a water line break flooded a key telecommunications company building in downtown Des Moines.

The outage began Thursday morning and continued into the afternoon, blocking 911 landline calls in the Des Moines area and calls to area hospitals. Cell phone calls to 911 were still being completed.

The problems were blamed on a water line break at communication company Lumen Technologies’ building in downtown Des Moines. Water leaked through parts of the building, causing the outage in part because workers needed to power down equipment, according to the Iowa Communications Network, a fiber optic network that serves government and public safety agencies.

“Our techs are working hard to fix a service disruption, caused by a water pipe break, which is affecting landline 911, phone, and Internet service for some customers in Central and Eastern Iowa,” a Lumen spokesperson said in an email.

Some internet providers in the affected areas — CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber — are part of Lumen.

County and local officials across the state were advising Iowans that 911 call centers are operational but calls from landline phones could not be completed, automatic alarm systems might not be functioning properly and administrative lines may be down.

Notices indicated officials had not been given a timeline for service to be restored. Lumen told The Associated Press: “Restoring impacted services is our top priority.”

Many UnityPoint and MercyOne health care facilities across the state also posted on social media that their phone systems are down because of the Lumen outage.