BECKLEY, W.Va. - Verizon employees have significantly reduced the number of phone service problems reported by customers following the July 8 floods that ravaged southern West Virginia. But they're not finished yet.
''We know that many of our customers still don't have phone service,'' said Ed Bosley, Verizon area manager-customer operations for southern West Virginia. ''And we would like to get to these customers as quickly as possible so we can restore their service.''
Some telephone cable and poles still are damaged, particularly in areas where roads have been washed away. The company also suspects that many customers whose homes were severely damaged have not yet reported that their phones are out of service.
If customers' homes or businesses have been severely damaged or destroyed, they should call Verizon's repair center. Verizon may be able to forward calls made to these customers to a neighbor's or family member's working phone so that callers still can reach the affected customers until their service is repaired.
If customers do not plan to repair or rebuild their existing home or business, they should call the Verizon business or residence sales and service center to disconnect their service.
To request a repair, Verizon customers should call 800-275-2355. Residential customers who wish to disconnect their service should call 954-6200, and business customers should call 954-6202. All three numbers are toll-free.
Since the severe flooding struck much of the southern part of the state 10 days ago, Verizon technicians have handled more than 4,200 repair reports ranging from fallen ''drop'' lines to wet phone cables to cables that have washed away. Verizon employees have gone from door to door in some areas to assess damage and make needed repairs.
''The repair load over the past week or so has been about two times normal - and as high as five times normal in Wyoming County,'' said Bosley. Verizon shifted employees from its construction organization and borrowed work crews from other parts of the state to attack the heavy repair load.
''Thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 200 technicians and support employees from throughout the state, we've reduced the numbers of repairs that need attention,'' said Bosley. ''We also have received outstanding cooperation from the West Virginia Department of Highways, State Police, National Guard and local law-enforcement and emergency services groups.
''Now, we want to finish the job by identifying those customers who remain without service,'' said Bosley.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com