Iowa will get a fourth telephone area code this year. Because the 5-1-5 area code of central Iowa is running out of numbers, the Iowa Utilities Board voted Monday to cut that zone in two.Board spokesman Chuck Seel says a J-shaped piece of the current 5-1-5 area code will be changed to a new area code, including cities like: Guthrie Center, Creston, Lamoni, Ottumwa, Newton, Marshalltown and Mason City. Other cities will remain 5-1-5, including: Des Moines, Ames, Fort Dodge and Algona. Seel says it’ll be a gradual process.with the new area code be phased in by June. It will be mandatory in September. Seel says the change is necessary due to the rising popularity of cellular phones, fax machines, beepers and computers with modems. He says the 5-1-5 area code isn’t the only one that’ll have to change, as the 3-1-9 area code is expected to run out of numbers by 2002.For now, the 7-1-2 area code has a sufficient quantity of numbers to remain untouched.
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