Aside from making international news, the Christmas morning suicide bomb explosion in Nashville had wide-ranging effects on communications systems, including here in Carroll County.
The explosion – which took the life of alleged bomber Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, of Antioch and injured several people – damaged over 40 buildings in downtown Nashville.
One of the buildings closest to the explosion housed the AT&T transmission facility that provided wireless service to much of the region, resulting in a loss of cell phone and internet service for AT&T residential and business customers in numerous Tennessee and Kentucky counties.
It also knocked out some 9-1-1 emergency systems, but according to Carroll County 9-1-1 Director Kristy Meggs, our county’s 9-1-1 system was not disrupted, though cell phone service for many AT&T customers in the county was either not working or going in and out sporadically as of press time Monday.
And that, said Meggs, has impacted some local residents’ ability to call 9-1-1 from their cell phones.
In a Monday afternoon press release, Meggs stated, “Many in our area that have AT&T mobility (AT&T cell phone users), AT&T internet, or AT&T landline phone services have experienced on and off outages since the explosion and continue to experience outages. As AT&T works to restore service, the outages are sporadic and change rapidly. We are continually monitoring the situation and how it affects our citizen’s ability to dial 9-1-1.”
Meggs said that as soon as they were made aware of the situation on Christmas morning, they started making test calls to the local 9-1-1 system from various cell and landline phones to see if calls were getting through.
As Meggs pointed out, the situation was still in a state of flux Monday afternoon with some AT&T mobility calls getting through to the dispatch center and some not.
“At this time, we do not have a timeframe from AT&T as to when mobility services will be fully restored,” said Meggs. “Again, the outages seem to be sporadic and change rapidly as the situation changes for AT&T.”
For any county residents seeking emergency help but unable to get through by dialing 9-1-1, Meggs said they can try calling an alternate number at 731-986-8947.
The blast also impacted some businesses’ ability to process credit and debit card transactions. Multiple Walmart stores in Tennessee and Kentucky were effected with some stores temporarily closing and some stores accepting only cash.
The Walmart Supercenter in Huntingdon, however, has not experienced any problems, said an employee Monday afternoon.
None of the local businesses contacted by this newspaper on Monday reported having any disruptions regarding their credit/debit card services.