Flint and Detroit Area Phone Outage Causes Confusion for Students and Parents
* * UPDATE * *
As of 1:30 pm today, it appears that phone service throughout Michigan is beginning to be restored. We'll update this story as more progress is made.
I got a call from my babysitter just before 9:00am telling me that the bus never showed up to pick up the kids for school. They had been waiting for close to an hour, so I decided to drive the kids myself. When I tried calling the school, I got the message, "the number you have reached has been disconnected or is no longer in service."
Thinking that they wouldn't possibly change the number without notifying parents, I tried the bus garage and the administration building and got the same message each time.
After I picked up my kids and finally got them to school, I was told by the office staff that their bus had broken down, but there was no way to notify anyone because the phones were down... even their cell phones. What I thought was a minor localized phone outage has apparently become something much bigger.
When I walked my kids to their classrooms, the teachers had no idea that the phones were out, or that a school bus had broken down causing several kids in the district to be late. It wasn't until I was walking out of the school the I heard the announcement on the PA system that there was a bus problem and students should not be marked tardy this morning.
After doing some more research this morning, I'm now getting reports of the phone outage also affecting the Oakland County Government offices, Carman-Ainsworth schools, several businesses throughout Greater Flint, South Lyon schools, and more outages scattered from Detroit to Genesee County, and as far north as Bay County.
Genesee County 911 service is up and running with no issues.
Not sure if it's related, but I'm also hearing of random power outages near Belsay and Richfield Roads. We're not sure what is going on, but we will continue to update this report as more information becomes available.
UPDATE 11:05am: According to jFlash42 on Facebook, This is a large multi-carrier outage affecting a large part of southeastern Michigan. At least three carriers are affected: Ernest Group, Verizon, and Windstream (Paetec). Rumors of a fiber cut in Indiana have not been confirmed. I've also been informed that Frankenmuth schools are having phone issues as well.
UPDATE 11:15am: A large number of businesses in the Metro Detroit area, Farmington Schools and portions of the City of Ann Arbor are affected as well. Genesee County 911 has confirmed that the phone outage is not affecting our local 911 service.
UPDATE 11:28am: We are now hearing of phone outages at Western Michigan University, McLaren, and even parts of Wisconsin. Several schools are affected including Bendle, Fenton, Davison, Grand Blanc, and Clio.
UPDATE 11:40am: Additional schools that are now reporting no phone service include Mt. Morris, Birch Run, Kearsley, Saginaw Township, Waterford, Swan Valley and Flushing. Dort Federal is reporting issues with phone and e-mail service.
UPDATE 1:36pm: Phone service is beginning to come back online throughout Michigan. I was finally able to get a hold of the Lake Fenton Bus Garage to confirm that the bus that broke down this morning will be replaced with another bus, and the afternoon route will run as scheduled.