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Carbondale plans for next communications blackout

Jun 10, 2015

  Carbondale is developing its own backup plan if there’s another communications blackout. The arrangements come after the Roaring Fork Valley suffered massive service disruptions two weeks ago.

When cell phone, internet, and some landline phones went down on May 26th, residents in the mid and upper Valley were forced to go to police or fire departments if they needed help. Law enforcement officials also patrolled outlying areas. Carbondale was especially hit hard, and Police Chief Gene Schilling says if a similar outage happens again, the town will work with the overlapping Fire District to expand the use of two-way radios.

“Putting radios out in the community, like the Redstone Inn, which is kind of the congregation point,” said Schilling on Tuesday. “And then we looked at, depending on if school’s in session, the banks, the care facilities, [then] the Fire District would look at putting handhelds there.”

That way people could radio into command central if there’s an emergency. Carbondale has also ordered a satellite phone and may expand Comcast landlines, since those were unaffected when the CenturyLink fiber optic line was cut.