Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 5 p.m. 9/17: Technicians Repairing at Least 50,000 Customer Lines, 70 Switching Centers on Backup Power

Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 5 p.m. 9/17: Technicians Repairing at Least 50,000 Customer Lines, 70 Switching Centers on Backup Power

Additional 35,000 Customers Without Local Service Due to Flooding at Rochelle Park, N.J. Facility;
Some Bell Atlantic Mobile Service Also Affected

September 17, 1999


Mark Marchand,

John Bonomo,

NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic technicians are working to repair at least 50,000 customer lines knocked out of service by Hurricane Floyd. An additional 35,000 customers are without local phone service due to heavy flooding and power supply problems in a Rochelle Park, New Jersey facility.

Also, 70 of the company's call-routing centers are still providing dial tone on emergency backup power, after losing commercial electrical power - down from 99 earlier today. These switching offices are located in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. All of the company's switching offices have either diesel generators or batteries that keep the offices supplying dial tone when power is lost.

Heavy flooding cut off the commercial power supply to the Bell Atlantic switching office in Rochelle Park, New Jersey last night. An emergency generator continued providing customers with local service until 11 a.m. this morning. Technicians are still waiting for the floodwaters to subside before they can enter the building and begin repairs later today.

In 23 communities surrounding Rochelle Park, about one million New Jersey customers have limited ability to make and receive calls outside their local calling area. Those customers can still dial 9-1-1 and make calls within their telephone exchange. However, they cannot reach Directory Assistance or "0" operators, and voice mail service for them is temporarily unavailable.
Some Bell Atlantic Mobile equipment is located in the same Rochelle Park facility. As a result, Bell Atlantic Mobile's wireless service in parts of Hudson, Bergen and Passaic counties is affected.

"Our top priority continues to be the restoration of service to all of our customers as quickly as possible," said Arnie Eckelman, Bell Atlantic president and chief operating officer, consumer. "Our overall network continued to perform well during and after the hurricane, and we are moving as many technicians as we can off of routine construction and installation efforts and assigning them to field repair teams."

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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