NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Three cell phone providers and two radio broadcasters are scrambling to restore service in North County after a pair of communication towers collapsed just off the Mohawk Trail overnight early Sunday morning.
Apparently high winds caused one tower to topple over taking down the other on the western summit along the the trail (Route 2), according to Cory Thurston of Williamstown, principal owner of North Adams Tower Company Inc. However, Thurston told The Eagle late Sunday afternoon what caused the disaster remains under investigation.
The company operates the 150-foot cell tower that leases space to Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint-Nextel. The 160-foot radio tower broadcasts the signal of WUPE 100. 1 FM and the Berkshire translator for public radio station WFCR in Amherst.
Verizon and the other cell phone providers have been notified and are working to put back up their antennae on temporary structures in order to re-establish service.
Meanwhile, Gamma Broadcasting Berkshire Group, owner of WUPE is also trying to get back on the air.
"We’re working on a temporary antenna that could be up as early as Monday afternoon, possibly on Tuesday," said Todd Lee, operations manager for the local radio station operators. WUPE programming can still be hear on WUPE 1110 AM or via live-streaming on the Internet.
The radio tower collapse also temporarily affected emergency communications equipment attached to the structure that serves several communities.
"All public safety [communications] is up and running due to back-up systems or redundancy," Thurston said.
In a Facebook post shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday, the North Adams Department of Public Safety urged residents who need help and who have no cell service, to use their home phone to make calls.
In an email, Mayor Richard Alcombright said 911 services remain in place, but if one’s cell service is affected, those calls need to be made via a land line. For an emergency, contact the North Adams Police Department at 413-664-4944 and press 1 for dispatch.
The department can also be reached by searching "North Adams Police Department" on Facebook or by email at NAPD911@gmail.com.