Arlington, VA

(Updated at 8:35 p.m.) Hundreds of Verizon landline phone and DSL internet customers in the Courthouse/Clarendon area may be without service after two underground cables were accidentally cut.

According to Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell, a contractor taking a soil sample in the area of Fairfax Drive and N. Barton Street cut through a pair of large underground cables containing 4,500 copper lines. Of those, about 1,600 active lines that carry phone and internet service are affected, Mitchell said.

A tipster tells us the soil sample was being taken in the county’s Rocky Run Park on Monday afternoon, and that Verizon crews have been “working all day and night… since about 9:00 p.m. Monday night.” Entire office buildings in Clarendon have lost phone service, according to another tipster.

Mitchell confirmed that crews are working in two 12-hour shifts to repair the lines. They’ve reached the cables — 20 feet below ground — but are now beginning the “very labor intensive” process of splicing all 1,600 lines together.

Service will gradually be restored to customers “over the next several days,” Mitchell said. Customers affected by the outage are asked to call 1-800-VERIZON or go to www.verizon.com/repair to report it.

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