(COLORADO SPRINGS) – A widespread power outage affecting hundreds of thousands of people, from Chipita Park to Fountain, was due to an overnight act of vandalism, according to Comcast workers.
Security footage, from a local business, Status Symbol Auto Body, shows a person severing fiber network cables around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, behind the shop.
The person, who was driving a burgundy Dodge truck, drove past the shop a couples times before getting out of the car. It took them about ten seconds to cut the cables, using a tool that is believed to be a Sawzall.
“The instant these were severed, we had an outage,” said Patrick Bendele, a Comcast construction coordinator who was on site.
Thousands of fiber cables were completely hacked off, and in order to get the internet back, each of those tiny cords needed to be spliced back together.
Crews on-site started working on fixing the cables around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. Bendele had said they were hoping to get service back up and running by 3:00 p.m. but even with 12 people on hand, the meticulous work took them four hours more than he estimated.
“We deal with fiber outages a lot, but vandalism like this? We’re in some tough times right now, so people are looking for an easy buck,” said Bendele.
Comcast reported over 150,000 people were without service on Wednesday, due to the overnight escapade. That included everyone south of East Cucharras Street, all the way to Fountain, approximately 15-20 miles further south.
In this day and age, many businesses, homes, offices, and even schools, were unable to operate without internet.
“It did shuts us down, essentially. We have no phones. We have no Internet. We can’t write estimates. We can’t process payments. We really can’t service our customers,” said Cindy Jensen, owner of Status Symbol Auto Body shop.
Students in the Manitou Springs School District had the day off due to the outage.
“It shows how reliant we are on internet,” said Jensen.
The Colorado Springs Police Department said they are investigating the incident but called it a “low priority call.”
FOX21 News will continue to update on the on when service is supposed to turn on as well as the investigation as more information becomes available to us.