MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An investigation is underway into why Minnesota’s 911 system went down for an hour Wednesday afternoon.

CenturyLink, Minnesota’s contracted 911 provider, said a third-party vendor experienced an outage that impacted the service statewide.

Emergency operators across the state noticed a problem with the system at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. Some calls and texts were received, but others were not.

The emergency communications networks division of the Department of Public Safety oversees Minnesota’s 911 system and its 102 dispatch centers. They immediately contacted CenturyLink.

“The vendor quickly worked to remediate the issue and to restore service in about 50 minutes,” said Dana Wahlberg, Director of Emergency Communication Networks division.

Law enforcement and emergency responders across the state took to social media to let people know about the outage, and what 10-digit number to call if they need help.

“What we’ve learned from CenturyLink is that their vendor was performing work within their own network, and … we know that it effected the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and North Carolina,” Wahlberg said.

Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis says there were no issues in getting through to first responders.

“CenturyLink has assured us that they are continuing to investigate this issue,” Wahlberg said.

CenturyLink is not alone searching for answers as to why the interruption in 911 service across the state. The FCC has been notified, and it has also launched an investigation.

CenturyLink is in its second year of a five-year contract with the state of Minnesota to provide 911 services.

Reg Chapman

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