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Madison - A water main break was reported at 5:26 a.m. Saturday on the 100 block of West Main Street near the Capitol Square.

At 6:20 a.m., 911 monitoring systems indicated potential problems due to the flooding caused by this break. The flooding resulted in an automatic transfer from commercial electrical service to battery backup power for AT&T's telecommunications equipment. As a result, AT&T's landline network equipment continued to operate with no impact to customer service. AT&T technicians at the scene worked to ensure that the 911 system was working properly, and the Dane County emergency dispatch center was prepared for any potential 911 service impact.

At 8:30 a.m., two cell phone callers to the 911 Center indicated the need to call twice to get through. AT&T, City and County officials continued to work on removing water from the affected area, and as a precaution, AT&T also made call routing adjustments to ensure all calls could complete.

As a result of back-up systems in place and a quick response by City of Madison, Dane County and AT & T, 911 service in Dane County was not disrupted.

Regular electric service was restored at 12:41 p.m.

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney and City of Madison and Dane County emergency response personnel worked together at the Emergency Operations Center with dispatchers from the Communications Center to coordinate the joint response. In addition, City, County and AT&T personnel coordinated an effective response on the scene in extremely cold temperatures.


  • Joanne Haas, County Executive's Office, 608-699-5606
  • George Twigg, Mayor's Office, 608-516-2075