Lakewood Ranch Herald

Thousands of Verizon customers cut off


EAST MANATEE — Thousands of Verizon customers were without telephone and Internet service Tuesday evening, after a fiber-optic line was cut in East Manatee.

About 13,000 customers were without service, said Sharon Schaffer. Cable TV service was not affected, she said.

Service was expected to be restored no earlier than midnight.

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 interruptions were “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.”

Schaffer, said the outage occurred at 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 crews were at the scene Tuesday night, working to repair the damaged line.

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