Crews find cut cable that caused San Juan outages

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. -- CenturyLink says its crews have found a severed cable that caused a network telephone outage on the San Juan Islands.

The company said in a release Monday that crews still don't know what caused the break in the underwater fiber-optic cable, but that it may have been an earthquake that took place three minutes before CenturyLink's first alarm notification.

The San Juan County Council declared a state of emergency last Friday as residents on San Juan, Lopez and Orcas islands dealt with spotty telephone and internet service or total outages.

Local debit and credit card machines didn't work, which meant residents can only use cash. Lisa Steinbrueck, who manages the Islander Resort, allowed customers to use IOUs if they couldn't get any cash.

"So we just do what we can do. Make do with that," she said on Friday.

CenturyLink says it plans to assess how far the damage is within the cable and is already looking at where to lay new cable.