Landslide cuts communication to the Coastside

Updated 10:00pm

By on Sun, April 23, 2006

AT&T crews were on Highway 92 at Skyline Sunday afternoon to repair the cut in their fiber optic line to the Coastside
AT&T is splicing around the break with new fiber optic cable.
This is difficult work in heavy brush and poison oak. One of the crews was using a jackhammer.

Services have been restored on the Coastside after a landslide cut an AT&T fiber optic cable, disrupting communications on the Coastside from Montara to Pescadero. This report is compiled from reader reports as well as interviews and not everything here can be confirmed.

Landlines: It appears that few or no calls could be made to or from the Coastside, but that some calls were possible within the Coastside. Automatic teller service and credit card verification services were also disrupted.  Phone service began coming back at about 4pm. DSL was unavailable until about 8:30pm.

Cellular: Sprint and T-Mobile cellular service were disrupted. One reader reported that his Verizon cellular service was unavailable until 7am. Several readers found that they could get Cingular service near the junction of Highways 1 and 92 on Sunday afternoon, but not north or south of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1.

Comcast Internet: Television service was not disrupted, but as of Sunday night, Cable internet was not available and Comcast had told one customer that they would not call a technical crew until Monday morning.

The landslide—off Highway 92 at 10pm on Saturday night— took out an AT&T fiber optic cable to the Coastside. Sgt. John Gonzales of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office says that the outage was in a location where AT&T couldn’t take heavy equipment, but crews hiked in to fix the problem.

AT&T installed a 100 to 150 foot temporary above-ground splice to the underground line west of Skyline and below the construction site at Skylawn Cemetary [Google satellite photo] according to one Coastsider who talked to the repair crew at about 3pm Sunday.

The Sheriff moved additional personnel to the Coastside last night and is engaging in "proactive policing". Deputies have been stationed publicly for emergency contact:

  • Montara at 8th Street and state Highway 1
  • Moss Beach at California Avenue and Highway 1
  • El Granada at Capistrano Street and Highway 1
  • Princeton at the Harbor Master’s Office at the Princeton Harbor
  • La Honda at the La Honda fire station at state Highway 84 and Entrada Way
  • Pescadero at Pescadero Creek Road and Stage Road

People who have cell phones and need emergency assistance should call (650) 363-4911 for police. For fire or ambulance service, people with cell phones can call (650) 363-4961.

Chris Carfi writes:

[The outage includes] two mobile phone networks (SprintPCS and T-Mobile) as well as our DSL.  Local SBC land line service continues to work, but calling outside the local calling area results in a "fast-busy" signal.  Calls within Half Moon Bay are connected normally for the most part, but any attempts to dial 800- or 888- service numbers were resulting in fast-busy signals as well.

Calls to the non-emergency line of the HMB Police Department also have resulted in busy signals for almost 12 hours, until 7:30 this morning.  We stopped by the HMB Police Department office at about 7:30, however the office was closed.  Outside the office is a phone to connect to HMBPD dispatch.  It too was giving a fast-busy signal.