The 911 system was knocked out Wednesday morning from Victoria all the way to Raymondville, including the Corpus Christi area.
Metrocom began getting calls on its non-emergency police line around 7 a.m. by people who were telling them they had been calling 911 and no one was answering. That got the attention of officials, who began working to see what was going on.
The Reverse Alert system quickly began notifying people that the emergency line was down (you can sign up to receive those alerts at www.reversealert.org). Then, officials worked to switch future 911 calls to another backup line so that people could get through.
"When we recognized somebody calling the regular line, the non-emergency line, then we transferred all of our 911 calls to the non-emergency line and that helped us to get some," Metrocom Manager Ronnie Sepulveda said.
Metrocom said that during the two hours that 911 was not working properly, they handled some 103 calls, but only 23 were actual emergencies. Officials say those numbers are about the same as when the system is up and running, so they were happy that they did not miss as many calls as they had feared.
So what happened to cause all of the mess? Metrocom officials said that AT&T told them they knew about the problem and were working to repair it. They offered no explanation.
Also, Corpus Christi 911 is where all the calls should have been routed to from the surrounding counties. Metrocom officials said they didn't receive a single call from outside the city, and they are going to investigate and see why that happened.