Austin 311 phone line overloaded, online access available


FILE – In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. The U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, proposed a $225 million fine, its largest ever, against two health insurance telemarketers for spamming people with 1 billion robocalls using fake phone numbers. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin’s 311 phone line, a key contact for reporting problems and seeking city services, is overloaded and not able to accept calls as of 10 a.m. Thursday. But 311 is still open, and its online services are available.

“We are not down. We are overloaded with calls,” said Patty Martinez, an Austin 311 spokesperson.

“We know Austin 311 is an invaluable resource for citizens, and we are doing what we can to answer calls as quickly as possible,” Martinez said. “We are just getting more calls than we can handle during this critical time. We are not operating at 100% due to representatives also being impacted by no power or internet limiting the number of available staff.”

Martinez said the 311 phone line was down earlier in the week due to technical problems, but right now there are simply “too many people calling.”

She said Austin residents have several online alternatives, and 311 remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Martinez said Austin residents can use the following alternatives to 311 to report electrical outages and water emergencies:

311 Online Services

311 Social Media

The 311 phone line and City of Austin website crashed Monday. The city attributed both of those issues to power outages and technical issues, and both services were back online by midafternoon that day.

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