Effort to restore cell phone service after towers collapsed

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (WWLP) – In North Adams, efforts are still underway to repair cell phone service after two communication towers collapsed over the weekend.

12:30 Sunday morning, tower owner Corydon Thurston got a call from police that his tower had collapsed on Florida Mountain in North Adams. That collapse cut off major forms of citywide communication.

Fixing emergency services radio was the first priority so that ambulance, fire and police services could be reached.

That was fixed within a matter of hours on Sunday.

“We removed a few antennas, we installed a couple temporary antennas in other parts of the site here to get a number of services back active while we await construction,” said Thurston, President of North Adams Tower Company.

Cell phone and data antennas on the tower were also destroyed. As a result, phones in the area showed “no service,” or spotty reception.

“Nowadays a lot of people have their cell phones as their primary source of conversation and they don’t have any land line phones which  makes it pretty tough,” said Robert Ferris from North Adams.

Strong winds are suspected as the cause of this tower collapse,

The two towers are 150 and 165 feet tall, 25 and 50 years old and they’re supposed to stand up to rough weather.

The towers were designed to withstand 80-90 mile per hour winds, but winds at the nearby North Adams airport only gusted to 44 miles per hour at the time.

While a cause is investigated, cell phone service is expected to improve gradually as cell carriers set up temporary antennas.

Thurston is still shocked that his towers came down, even though they were built to withstand rough weather.

“I don’t know of a tower that’s come down in Massachusetts in my entire lifetime. This is a very rare situation,” Thurston said.

“I can’t say that they’re going to build them any stronger, something went wrong.”


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