October 30, 2012 / 8:50 PM / in 7 years

Some US emergency call centers down after Sandy: FCC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Floods, high winds, snow and related power outages brought on by Hurricane Sandy knocked out a small number of 911 call centers, forcing the emergency service to be re-routed, the Federal Communications Commission’s top official said on Tuesday.

Some of the rerouted calls came in without location information that police or firefighters need to find the caller, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told a news conference to discuss communications outages.

FCC officials declined to say where the affected call centers were.

FCC officials also said that 25 percent of cell phone towers and other cell sites in the states hit by Sandy were knocked out of service while still more were running on backup power.

“I want to emphasize that the storm is not over. Our assumption is that communications outages could get worse before they get better,” said Genachowski, adding that he was particularly concerned about additional wireless outages.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Gary Hill and Tim Dobbyn

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