TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Thousands of people southwest of Tucson lost cell service after cell phone tower bent in half in a rural part of Pima County.
Residents living in Three Points first noticed the toppled tower near Robles Junction on Wednesday.
“It all started yesterday morning,” said Tom Fouch, a cashier at Three Points General Store. “The phone would start working a little bit and then, all of the sudden, you’d lose service. Then it went out completely and today it’s barely on.”
For Moses Mungia, a resident who lives down the street from the tower, said service went out pretty soon after the tower fell.
“[Wednesday morning] there was no wind, nothing powerful and we just heard what sounded like a car crash but without the screeching tires,” Mungia said. “It was like somebody ran into a wall and 30 minutes later [there was no service].”
Representatives from Trico Electric Cooperative said the company immediately cut off electricity to the Verizon tower after it fell, and locals say crews were taking it down. A temporary tower was erected in front of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Three Points. However, many area residents say they are still having trouble getting cell service and WiFi.
“The service is hit and miss,” Fouch said. “My wife is on social security and she is disabled; she has health issues, and if we needed to get an ambulance out here ... might as well get in your car and drive.”
Local dispatchers said even without cell service residents will still be able to call 911. However, even through this whole ordeal, there is a silver lining for one family.
“After it did happen, I did take our son to the park instead of him watching TV or being on the phone,” said Leanne Mungia. “[My husband and I] went for a run today so that was good.”
Still, residents said they hope service is turned on sooner rather than later.
Verizon Wireless representatives said management would release information on what may have caused the tower to go down and how many people are affected.
Representatives from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said they don’t believe criminal activity is involved.
No injuries were reported as a result of the fallen tower.