Stolen copper wire robs Ruch area of phone service

CenturyLink customers in Ruch have been without phone and internet service since 9 this morning because copper thieves stole cable that carries communication signals, the company said in a statement.

About 500 people in the Ruch area outside of Jacksonville have been affected, company spokeswoman Heather Koch said.

Crews have been working to replace the copper and get service back on since the company was alerted this morning, Koch said.

"Copper theft has happened in the past all over Oregon and affects electrical companies too," Koch said. "Luckily this didn't cut the 911 lines,"

The cable was stolen from aerial wires on utility poles, and CenturyLink is working to get service restored by tomorrow.

If individuals are seen working on telephone wires without typical safety equipment like orange vests and hard hats along with flaggers, observers should call 911, Susan Reed, vice president and general manager for CenturyLink in Southern Oregon, said in a statement.

— Mandy Valencia

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