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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of Dec 26, 2001 - Jan 1, 2002


Cable accident cuts Internet service for much of the valley

Express Staff Writer

Cable and Internet service was suspended for much of the Wood River Valley on Friday and Saturday after a dump truck pulled down an overhead line near the Ketchum Post Office.

Head Cox technician Kevin Garceau repairs a cable containing 72 fiber optics wires, each the size of a hair. A dump truck broke the cable in two places Friday morning in Ketchum. Express photo by Willie Cook

According to KD Excavation office manager Kim Bryson, the accident occurred about 6:45 a.m. Friday when one of the company’s dump trucks drove off with its bed still up after dumping snow in a vacant lot across from the post office. The truck clipped a cable suspended from poles across Fifth Street.

Susan Littlefield, Cox Communications office manager, said the accident also tore down three spans of coaxial television cable. She said the destroyed wires affected cable and Internet service from Elkhorn through Bellevue. Several businesses in the immediate vicinity of the accident, including the Mountain Express, also lost their service. Otherwise, service in Ketchum and Sun Valley was unaffected, Littlefield said.

Cox Communications technicians worked nonstop beginning Friday morning to repair the problem. Cable television service was restored at 7 a.m. Saturday morning everywhere except the area from Northridge subdivision to Zinc Spur Road. At press time Saturday afternoon, technicians were still working to restore Internet service to about 300 subscribers.

Littlefield said Saturday afternoon that technicians were waiting for fiber optics repair supplies to arrive by air. She expected the supplies to arrive within hours and for technicians to restore Internet service in parts of Ketchum and from Elkhorn Road south by late that afternoon.

Kevin Garcau, the company’s head technician, said each of the 72 broken fiber optic wires is the size of a human hair. He said insulation had to be cut back and mechanical splicers attached to each of the 72 wires at both ends of the new section of cable. Garcau said the repair is only temporary and four spans of the cable will be replaced after the holidays to effect a permanent repair.

Littlefield said Cox received 1,192 calls Friday, mostly from customers seeking an explanation of their lost service. She said one woman reported having been trying to get through to the company for three hours.

Littlefield’s office typically receives from 150 to 250 calls on a Friday.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.