Heidi Wilkie, of Time Warner of Mid-Ohio, said a fire at an American Electric Power transformer in Massieville, caused cable and high speed internet service to be disrupted in Scioto, Pike and Jackson counties.
“With no electric, we have no service, and our fibers were cut because of the fire,” said Wilkie. “Our technicians remained on site while the electric service was being restored, so that they could repair the fiber optics.”
Suzanne Priore, a spokeswoman for AEP Ohio, tells a different story.
“Around 10:30 this morning we had a tree down in that area that snapped two spans of wire, leaving some 300 customers without service. Further down from where we had the two spans down, some of our crew found a cable on fire, but it had nothing to do with AEP equipment,” Priore said. “We found no damage to our pole, and no problems with our facilities. We see no direct connection between the cable fire and our facilities. There was nothing that was AEP's that was affected.”
“Our cable has been out and our mobile laptops in our cruisers were out of operation,” said dispatcher Cindy Roe, who handles the calls for the Portsmouth Police Department. “We also lost our communications with municipal court.”
She also said, “To my knowledge, all of the services we provide in that area were out, but our video service was restored around 3 p.m., and our high speed on line and digital phone service was fully restored before 4 p.m.”
“Our computers were down and we weren't able to get on line, but our phones were still working,” said Shirley Conn at the New Boston Police Department.
The Scioto County Sheriff's Office and the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they had no problems as a result of the outage.
Jason Lovins, a spokeman for Southern Ohio Medical Center said their emergency services were not affected, just the lower TV channels in all the rooms.
The Portsmouth Daily Times staff was without internet service through much of the day as well.
“We are the regional hub for our company, and several locations are on our server,” said Portsmouth Daily Times Publisher Jim Freeland. “So when the cable internet is down, it affects several other newspapers.”
PDT Managing Editor Art Kuhn said with the loss of email service for the day, the paper was unable to receive news releases and obituaries from area funeral homes.
“We were also unable to receive some of our regular services, such as syndicated columns,” he said.
Wilkie said it is the policy of Time Warner not to release the number of subscribers affected.
“We don't release subscriber numbers for competitive reasons. All I can tell you is that subscribers in Scioto, Pike and Jackson counties were affected,” she said.