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Atlanta 911 operations transitioning back into primary facilities after water leak, mayor says

Atlanta Police said a water leak caused the problem on Sunday night.

ATLANTA — Atlanta's 911 operations are moving back into their main facilities after they were forced to make adjustments due to a water leak at the Public Safety Center Sunday night. 

The water leak also impacted calls to Atlanta 311. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms thanked the city for its patience in a tweet Monday evening. 

"911 remains operational and is currently transitioning back into their primary facilities," Bottoms said. "311 is fully up and running."

Bottoms alerted residents of delays in a tweet Monday morning, explaining that they "we're experiencing issues" with the 911 and 311 services, and "crews have been working all night to get these services restored."

"While we are experiencing delays, 911 is working," the mayor said. "If it's an emergency, please do NOT hang up, as that only delays response."

In an afternoon update, Timothy Peek, a chief deputy for APD, explained the issues further. 

On Sunday night, Atlanta Police said a water leak at the call center caused the problem. Peek said the water got to many of the electrical circuits in the building where they are housed. 

"As a result of those electrical circuits, we were forced to start shutting down some of the operations based on the normal power source for the building," he explained. "Backup generators kicked in, but then they experienced some errors."

They then moved to a different facility to keep the 911 calls going.

"We have shifted operations to our backup center and remain able to receive and dispatch 911 calls," a statement said. "We have contingencies in place to ensure we maintain emergency services, even while experiencing issues like this."

Similarly, Atlanta Fire Rescue said in a statement the situation would "not impact AFRD's response to emergencies throughout the City of Atlanta."

However, the city's 311 service tweeted that due to the technical difficulties it "will not be able to take your call at this time."

That was fixed by the afternoon.

“E911 is operational, we have never stopped receiving our 911 calls," Peek said. "At this point, Atlanta 311 is taking calls and will continue to monitor and update our customers throughout the day.”

Peek said the generators were up and running and they're working with contractors to determine the stability of the power so they can go back to normal operations. He said what they didn't want to happen was for people to dial 911 just to check and see if the line is working.

"We don't want you to do that because that puts additional resources on the system," he said.

Officers were still out in the field responding to calls.

In an update just before 6 p.m., the police department said the 911 communications center and Atlanta 311 was actively taking calls and dispatching emergency and non-emergency calls.

"Although it has been a challenging day at our public safety E911 communications center, our call takers and dispatchers have remained committed and are actively taking and dispatching emergency calls," APD said 

"The Atlanta Police Department also wants to thank Fulton County Emergency Communications for assisting us."