A network issue caused by Monday's powerful storm was causing a disruption in 9-1-1 emergency service in northeast Iowa Tuesday.

Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said in a press release that several dispatchers may not be able to receive 9-1-1 calls or the corresponding location information that's embedded in each call. Officials believe more than 85,000 Centurylink customers are affected by the issue.

"If you are not able to reach the Consolidated Communications Center through your cellular telephone, finding a “land line” phone may be your next best bet for service," Thompson said. "This disruption is expected to be remedied quickly as steps are already being initiated to identify and mitigate the issue."

Officials have determined the intermittent issues with emergency communications centers may be experienced in Oelwein, Black Hawk County, Bremer County, Allamakee County, Jasper County, Decorah/Winneshiek County, Grundy County, Benton County, Butler County, and Howard County and the Ames Police Department. On top of already disrupted cellular telephone service in the area, the public needs to be aware that the 9-1-1 service disruption could prevent the call center from receiving the detailed information that dispatched need to quickly handle the emergency calls.

Thompson urged callers to remain on the line with the dispatcher for the entire duration of the call to ensure that all critical details are obtained.

"Staying on the line will not slow the emergency response because responders will be dispatched by another dispatcher while yours remains on the line with you," Thompson said.

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