Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 2 p.m. 9/18: Repairs to Rochelle Park, NJ, Facility Underway; Dial Tone to Some Customers Already Restored

Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 2 p.m. 9/18: Repairs to Rochelle Park, NJ, Facility Underway; Dial Tone to Some Customers Already Restored

Service For About 35,000 Customers Affected by Flooding At Local and Regional Call-Routing Facility

September 18, 1999


Mark Marchand,

John Bonomo,

NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic has launched an aggressive effort to repair storm damage at a Rochelle Park, NJ, call-routing facility, and has already restored local phone service to some customers who lost service yesterday.

Company technicians early today began repairing the wet cables and heavily damaged power systems at the facility, which was knocked out of service by heavy floods in the wake of Hurricane Floyd. As a result of the damage, some 35,000 Lodi, Mayood, Paramus, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook customers lost local phone service early yesterday, and customers in 23 surrounding communities are limited to local calling.

After more than six feet of water was finally pumped out of the building's basement, Bell Atlantic cable technicians this morning began drying out wet cables that were submerged since Thursday night. These cables must be dried before Bell Atlantic can restore local service to customers. As each cable is examined and dried, the company is restoring dial tone to customers served by that cable.

It is important to note that as customers' service is restored, they will be temporarily limited to local service. They will be able to make any local call, but they will not be able to make or receive calls outside their local telephone exchange.

In addition, the company also has begun intensive repair work on the regional call switching system in the same building. Because that system and its power supplies were damaged by the flood, local phone customers in 23 communities around Rochelle Park temporarily have limited local phone service. They can still make local calls within their telephone exchange and they can still dial 9-1-1. However they cannot make or receive calls from outside their community.

Some of Bell Atlantic Mobile's equipment in the same facility was damaged. As a result, Bell Atlantic Mobile service in parts of Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties is affected. The company is moving several portable cell sites to the area.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.


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