Cowley County emergency calls were routed through Reno County for several hours on Jan. 13 as AT&T personnel worked to determine the cause of a telephone outage in the local 911 system. The problem was corrected later that day.

The City of Arkansas City first became aware of the problem early Jan. 13. The local (620) 441-4444 number that routes to dispatchers in Winfield also lost service for a while. That number later was restored to working order and the public may contact Arkansas City public safety agencies through it.

The 441-4444 number should be used for non-emergency calls only. All emergencies still should be directed to 911.

This outage was not connected in any way to ongoing telephone system troubles that have occurred at the Arkansas City Police Department and Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department. The installation of a brand-new telephone system for those two agencies is expected to commence sometime this week.

The cause was a technical failure out of Wichita. For more information about the outage, call Cowley County Emergency Communications at (620) 221-5447 or Cowley County Emergency Management at (620) 221-0470.

This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.