Officials with Telus told CTV News that a massive landline phone outage, that left thousands without service Wednesday evening, was caused by problems with hardware in one of the communities.

On Wednesday evening, about 40 communities lost landline phone service for some time – leading to a number of emergency alerts, as the lack of phone service meant affected residents couldn’t call 911 through a landline.

The owner of a restaurant in Vegreville told CTV News she lost business, as many customers call in their orders.

“If people can’t call in to place their order, I definitely lost money for that,” Paulina Chung, owner of the China Zone Restaurant said.

The outage became an inconvenience for business owners, and a source of frustration for residents, including Nicole Yarochuk.

Yarochuk, a young mother, lives in Mundare – and she quickly became concerned when phone service was knocked out.

“I don’t drive, I’m in the middle of nowhere so if something was to happen with my son, it’s not like I could reach anybody,” Yarochuk said.

Telus said the outage started after hardware problems arose with a switcher located in Vegreville, and that shut down phone lines – it took crews about five hours to fix the issue.

With files from Ashley Molnar