Crain’s Chicago Business reports:

(AP) — Emergency phone calls in Chicago had to be rerouted Thursday after a power outage at the city’s 911 call center, authorities said.

Fire department spokesman Kevin MacGregor said Chicago residents needing emergency assistance were asked to call 311 instead of 911. He said phone operators at the 911 center were moved to the 311 center to assist.

continued below

MacGregor did not know when the outage occurred and could provide no other information.

“We have a crisis right now, I am not going to concern myself with times,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications did not immediately return several phone calls seeking comment.

The Chicago Police Department referred all calls on the matter to the emergency management office.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed.