A widespread Verizon wireless network issue left "a ton" of East Coast users unable to send or receive text messages early Tuesday, the company confirmed via Twitter as it responded to a series of frustrated messages. 

It wasn't immediately clear when the outage started or exactly how many customers were affected. Down Detector's outage map showed virtually the entire East Coast a blazing red. It appeared nearly 4,000 outages were reported at 8 a.m. -- and that number was rising. 

Verizon Wireless' verified customer service Twitter account appeared to be responding to a dozen tweets or so practically every minute for at least two hours. 

One of the canned responses: "Verizon is currently experiencing a wireless network issue in many eastern areas. Our technicians are aware of this issue and are working to resolve it quickly. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes. *NXS" 

Another: "We know how important it is to have working service, and we're on it! We have confirmed there is a texting outage on the east coast. Our technicians a fully aware we have a ton of customers that are being affected, and we're working non-stop to get this matter resolved. *IXR" 

There was no estimate for when texts would be back up and running.