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‘I Was Desperate,’: Woman Goes 5 Weeks With No Phone Line After Lightning Strike

Michelle Aamland went five weeks without a phone line after a lightning bolt knocked out her connection box.

RAMSEUR, N.C. — You don’t really think that much about it until you need it. It’s one of those household items that just sits on the counter plugged in but isn’t used every day, “You don’t realize the inconvenience until you don’t have it,” said Michelle Aamland.

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What is it? A telephone. In a world of cell phones, the old landline is rarely used, and many people don’t even have a phone in their home. Aamland has a cell phone but in the area, she lives the service is spotty, so she has a landline just in case.

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The bad news for Aamland is that her line has been down for several weeks at a time, “It’s crazy,” said Aamland. The area she lives in out in Ramseur is serviced by CenturyLink, “They have a monopoly out here,”” said Aamland.

The issue apparently started when a bolt of lightning damaged a connection box near her home. Aamland says CenturyLink was slow to respond and that her service has never been consistent since.  There have been several other outages but this one is going on Five weeks according to Aamland.

She has called CenturyLink, but it takes a long time before a tech makes it out the home and this last time fix didn’t last, “They ran a temporary cable, but cars ran over it and shredded it,” said Aamland.

Frustrated and concerned for her disabled neighbor Aamland call our Call for Action Team, “I was desperate,” said Aamland.

Our volunteers reached out to CenturyLink and explained the situation. A spokesperson said it would investigate the interruption of service and the delays in getting a technician to respond.

CenturyLink sending us this statement: Over the last few weeks, a very small number of customers in Ramseur, N.C. have had service disruptions due to a lightning strike that caused significant damage to CenturyLink equipment on Foushee Road. We know how important these services are to our customers and, while some residents’ services have been restored, our technicians are continuing to diligently work to restore all services.

The good news for Aamland and others is that within 24 hours a technician was out to restore service, “I’m tickled to death you guys got involved because if you didn’t we would probably still be without phone, or internet or anything,” said Aamland.

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