Downed tower continues to impact police, 911 communications

A 400-foot tower that collapsed during a storm in Mullins more than two years ago is still causing some communication issues between police and 911 dispatchers.

Firefighters and police said they're still having some problems with communications and are concerned it may affect their safety as well as those they're trying to protect.

WPDE first reported on this problem shorty after it happened on July 1, 2012.

Time Warner Cable owned the tower and it housed equipment that allowed officers in Nichols and Mullins to talk to dispatchers and each other on their radios, according to Marion County Administrator Tim Harper.

The tower stood in a wooded field off of Milton Troy Avenue.

After the storm, the tower wasn't structurally sound, so the company tore it down.

The county put up a temporary 50-foot tower, but radio communications are still weak.

An antenna was also put up on a water tower in Nichols to help strengthen communications.

Harper said Marion County Council has approved $150,000 to build a new tower on a site in Mullins.

However, the soil on the property is being tested and officials are waiting for those results.

"That way we got the right soil to put the tower on. If it's not right, the tower could collapse again," said Harper.

He added if everything is right with the soil a new tower could be up in the next 90 days.

Look for future reports on this story.