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Phone service out in much of Lake County, Minn.

DULUTH - Phone and Internet service -- both for land lines and cell phones -- is down in Two Harbors and apparently in much of Lake County up to Cook County.

No official explanation has been given yet for the outage, which began just before 11 a.m., Lake County News Chronicle editor Mike Creger reported this afternoon.

The loss of service has caused some businesses to close and others to change the way they're serving customers, Creger said.

People without phone service needing emergency services should drive to the nearest fire hall. Employees are staffing the Two Harbors Fire Department and ambulance service in case people unable to reach them by phone drive up instead, officials there said.

Emergency 911 service is being routed to St. Louis County.

Lake Bank in Two Harbors has closed, secretary Deb Ruberg said. As part of the bank's natural disaster plan, the bank closes when it lacks 911 service, she said.

True Value Hardware is open but is only taking cash and checks. The Holiday East gas station says it has a system that is accepting credit cards despite the lack of phone service.

All employees of Pure Driven, a Two Harbors Internet company, have gone home.

Lake View Memorial Hospital is doing computerized record-keeping temporarily by hand, and some services involving technology, such as radiology, are being delayed.

Check back to for updates.