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Erie County 911 restored; backup system also failed

Erie County’s 911 system has been fully restored, after a power failure shut it down for about four hours Wednesday morning. The power failure had forced the county to urge residents to directly call one of nearly two dozen direct phone numbers to police department numbers across the county if residents had an emergency.

“The 911 system is fully operational. Please do not call unless you have an emergency,” Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said in a message posted on Twitter. He said people calling the number as a test tied up the lines.

Meanwhile, Erie County Legislator Edward Rath, chair of the Public Safety Committee, questioned why both the main 911 system and the backup system both failed to work, and why calls were not rerouted to local law enforcement after the county has invested so much money in system upgrades to ensure the public’s safety.

A power failure occurred at the county’s 911 center at about 3:30 a.m., the Department of Emergency Services tweeted.