LONG BEACH — Many CenturyLink customers across the U.S. were without internet Thursday amid a lengthy outage that even affected some Verizon customers.

The outage began early in the day but by late Thursday night, the company tweeted that its engineers had identified a "network element" that was affecting services and expected to fully restore services within hours.

Local impacts

Pacific County residents received automated phone calls and emergency text notifications Thursday night that the 911 emergency number was likely to be inoperable. A follow-up notification about 8:30 a.m. Friday advised residents that service had been restored.

Pacific County Communications (PACCOM) 911 lines were fully restored around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 28. Lines have since been functioning properly but intermittent issues may occur, according to PACCOM.

“We’re pretty fortunate this happened in the middle of the night when call volumes were low,” said PACCOM Director Tim Martindale Jr. “We dealt with the situation pretty quickly and accurately.”

The outage didn’t impact emergency response times, Martindale Jr. said.

PACCOM sent out emergency notification texts, phone calls, Facebook posts and press releases during and after the outage.

During a 911 outage, residents can text 911 or call the county’s non-emergency lines at 360-875-9397 or 360-641-9397. Citizens shouldn’t make test calls to 911 during an outage. Doing so can result in wait times for citizens in need.

A number of Long Beach Peninsula businesses experienced problems processing credit and debit-card transactions during the outage.

Nationwide effects

The Oregonian and The Columbian reported that the Clark County, Washington, 911 center was down Thursday night, and that the outages appeared to be affecting 911 services statewide.

Other areas of the country also experiencing 911 outages included parts of Missouri, Idaho and Arizona.

Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink didn't provide details of the problem and it didn't indicate how many customers were affected. Customers from New York to California reported outages.

Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, said via Twitter it was a nationwide outage and her agency needed to investigate.

In Idaho, the internet problems caused the temporary shutdown of phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and the state's Department of Education, The Idaho Statesman reported .

Some ATM machines weren't working in Idaho and Montana.

At North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado, doctors and nurses for a time had difficulty accessing patient records. Rather than using digital devices, they had to take notes with pencil and paper, according to the Greeley Tribune.

WyoLotto officials said they would postpone announcing Wyoming's winning state lottery numbers and winnings for the day until after the outage was over.

Verizon said it had service interruptions in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and parts of Montana as a result of issues with CenturyLink. Verizon said CenturyLink helps handle wireless network data traffic for Verizon and other wireless providers.

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