MARTINEZ -- A damaged cable knocked out phone and Internet communications Tuesday afternoon, and AT&T continued work Wednesday to restore service to the area, including Contra Costa County buildings, school and sanitary districts and California Highway Patrol offices.

County and CHP officials emphasized that 911 emergency lines were still working.

"We are making progress in repairing the extensive damage caused by a third party fiber cut that is impacting customers in the Bay Area," AT&T spokesman Alex Carey wrote in an email Wednesday morning. "At this time, all U-verse services have been restored and technicians are on site and working diligently to restore wireless and wireline services. We apologize for this inconvenience."

AT&T declined to specify how many customers were affected by the outage.

County spokeswoman Betsy Burkhart said she noticed the problem at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when she stopped receiving emails. About 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, emails began showing up in her inbox again.

"All of a sudden my computer started going nuts," she said in an email. "Outside emails from yesterday started pouring in first."

Burkhart said several other county buildings in Martinez were affected, including the Assessor's Office and Employment and Human Services. Services had been restored for most as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, she said.


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The phones and Internet also went down at the CHP office in Martinez on Tuesday evening, said CHP Officer John Fransen, reached by cellphone. But he assured the public that 911 was unaffected, officers' radios were working, the office was open, and dispatch was not affected.

"Nonemergency functions are being minimally affected; we are not at 100 percent there, but we are 100 percent for emergency," he said.

For people who want to find out information or contact CHP for nonemergency issues, Fransen said Contra Costa CHP's social media sites are updated and checked constantly. Its Facebook page is CHP Contra Costa, and its Twitter handle is @320PIO.

Other agencies affected included the Martinez school district and Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. Sanitary district customers with emergency sewer overflow problems can call 925-933-0955 to report the problem.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/sfbaynewsrogers.