Telephone repair crews were expected to work through the night Wednesday to restore service to 2,300 Portola Hills residents who were disconnected when an underground cable stretched and split earlier in the day.
The county Sheriff's Department and Fire Authority expanded their patrols of the rough, lightly populated area throughout the day to provide emergency assistance, urging people to use cellular telephones or CB radios to call three local fire stations for help.
The cable snapped about 7:30 a.m., a Pacific Bell spokesman said.
Rain-saturated earth beneath a bike path along El Toro Road, between Marguerite Parkway and Glenn Ranch Road, gave way, stretching a 750-foot section of cable to the point of separation, Fire Authority spokeswoman Emmy Day said.
As repairs began on the underground cable, another crew started to string an overhead line along the same area, in preparation for the time when El Toro Road will have to be repaired.
Day said there were no requests during the day for emergency assistance from patrolling vehicles or fire stations on Ridgeline Road, Trabuco Canyon Road and Portola Parkway.