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story.lead_photo.caption A contractor working for Windstream overlooks a hole where a telephone cable is being repaired Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at East Fifth and Ash streets in Texarkana, Ark. On July 9, a Southwest Arkansas Telephone Cooperative crew accidentally cut the cable, stopping landline phone service for about 400 Windstream customers. Photo by Karl Richter / Texarkana Gazette.

Windstream land line telephone service has been restored for about 400 Texarkana, Ark., customers, and repairs affecting more than 200 others should be completed next week.

On Friday, workers completed repairs to an underground cable that had been accidentally cut, reconnecting phones for most of the Windstream customers whose service has recently been interrupted, company spokesman Scott Morris said in an email.

On July 9, a Southwest Arkansas Telephone Cooperative crew working at East Fifth and Ash streets downtown accidentally severed the cable. After a difficult search, Windstream found a workable replacement for the aging cable in New Mexico and shipped it to Texarkana. Work began on that repair Tuesday.

Windstream asks any customers affected by the July 9 outage who are still experiencing issues to call 800-347-1991.

A separate incident with the same cable more than three weeks ago knocked out Windstream phone service for about 240 customers.

On June 23, a Union Pacific train ran into the cable, which had been loosened by a rain storm and was drooping over the tracks at UP's Longview Yard, the rail yard adjacent to Front Street downtown.

The railroad required a right of entry agreement before Windstream could access the property to make its repairs, and a UP safety crew must be on site while the work is done, Morris said. Windstream also had to pay UP for an easement allowing the cable to cross over six railroad tracks where the train struck it.

Those issues have been resolved, and repair work is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Morris said. It could be done and service restored by late Wednesday.

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