Thousands of CenturyLink customers in north-central Minnesota were without Internet for nearly three days after a third-party vendor accidentally cut a fiber line.

The outage impacted 2,197 DSL Internet customers, including businesses, around Aitkin, Crosby, Deerwood and Detroit Lakes Saturday morning to about 8 p.m. Monday, a CenturyLink spokesperson said.

An automated recording told customers about the situation when they called in, she said.

Linda Causton, who lives near Aitkin, said her Internet came back Tuesday when she reset her modem. She said Wednesday that CenturyLink never told her the cause of the outage.

"It doesn't make sense to me," she said. "I'm thinking 'Oh my God, were they hacked?' Nobody would tell me anything when I finally got through to a person."

ZACH KAYSER may be reached at 218-855-5860 or Zach.Kayser@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZWKayser.