Storm traffic jams cellphone towers

Tens of thousands of drivers, stuck in thousands of unmoving cars, frantically punching at their phones, have flooded many cellphone towers and made calling a hit-and-miss proposition in many places around metro Atlanta.

The problem is apparently one of volume, not network glitches, said AT&T spokesman, Lance Skelly.

“We don’t have a notification about any outages,” Skelly said. “Our network looks okay. Right now, it just looks like a congestion issue.”

But it wasn’t just AT&T. Users of other wireless providers were also having trouble getting through – a sign that there were just too many people trying to use cellphones.

A statement issued by Verizon also labeled the problem one of overmatched capacity. Each cellphone tower has its limits. And many choke points in mid-afternoon were jammed with anxious, frustrated drivers – most of them packing cellphones.

Problems fetching children from schools closing early only ratcheted up the volume of calls – and the frustration.