Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 3:30 pm, EDT - 9/19 -
Bell Atlantic Reports Major Progress in Work to Resurrect Rochelle Park Facility
Toll Service Expected Back This Evening,
Local Dial Tone in 5 Affected Communities 60% Restored by Sunday Mid-Day
Company Technicians Working Around the clock
At Flood-Damaged Facility
September 19, 1999
NEW YORK - Working around the clock, some with virtually no sleep, Bell Atlantic technicians are making major progress restoring equipment and systems at a Rochelle Park, NJ, facility that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Floyd floodwaters last Thursday night.
The company expects that by this evening full toll service will be restored to about one million area customers who have been restricted to making only local calls. Since early Friday, those customers have been able to make only local calls within their telephone exchange, but they have not been able to make or receive calls from outside their area.
In addition, by mid-day Sunday, Bell Atlantic had restored local service to about 60 percent of 37,000 Lodi, Maywood, Paramus, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook customers. They lost service when the power systems in the Rochelle Park facility were damaged by floodwaters. Restoration of local service to the remaining customers is expected by tomorrow morning.
"What we faced was a once-in-200-year flooding situation," said Danny Kiser, Bell Atlantic vice president for Construction and Logistics.
Kiser estimated that more than 200 technicians were at work in the Rochelle Park facility Sunday morning.
"In the course of the last two days, we have accomplished what amounts to several man years of work," Kiser said. "This has been a tremendous effort.
"We're now calling this the resurrection of Rochelle Park."
Kiser praised the cooperation of many other companies and vendors who dropped everything to help get full service back to customers.
Workers had to pump more than six feet of water out of the Rochelle Park building's basement before Bell Atlantic technicians could enter early Saturday morning. Since then, the company has replaced many different pieces of power and transmission equipment, brought in alternate power sources and begun drying out large cables that were submerged beneath the floodwaters for almost two days.
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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