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Verizon: Phone, Internet in E. Manatee may be down until midnight

EAST MANATEE — Thousands of Verizon customers will be without telephone and Internet service until at least midnight, according to a company spokeswoman.

About 13,000 customers are currently without service, said Susan Schaffer. Cable TV service is not affected, she said.

County officials said it was unclear what neighborhoods are affected at this time. A caller to the Bradenton Herald who lives in the Creekwood neighborhood said she was without service.

Schaffer, said the outage occurred about 2:20 p.m. when a county contractor working near State Road 70, between 33rd and 37th streets east, cut the line.

Numerous Verizon workers were lineup along the north side of the highway this evening.

Manatee County Public Safety Director Bill Hutchison asked residents to use their cell phones to call for help in the event of an emergency while Verizon crews work to repair the line. Hutchison said service are “pretty extensive” throughout East Manatee.

“People need to be aware of this so they can call our 9-1-1 system via their cell phone or, if they don’t have one, with a neighbor’s cell phone,” Hutchison said. “We’re not sure how long people will be without phone service.”

For more information, call Manatee County Public Safety office at (941) 747-7776.