Verizon Sets Up Phone, Internet Communications Center in League City for Hurricane Ike Victims

LEAGUE CITY, Texas - Verizon has set up a temporary communications center in League City for people affected by Hurricane Ike, offering free local and domestic and international long-distance calling, as well as Internet access through Verizon's High Speed Internet service.

The Verizon center, which is located at 1701 League City Parkway, is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Personal calls to friends and family and Internet usage will be limited to 15 minutes at a time to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of the free service to contact disaster aid organizations or address urgent communications needs.  Local government authorities will assist in managing the location.

In addition, a bank of four payphones has been set up at each of two locations - at the intersection of FM 518 and Highway 3 in League City and in front of the Verizon Plus Store at 3413 Garth Road in Baytown - where Verizon will provide free local and regional calling services for people who need access to a working telephone.

Verizon is covering all costs associated with providing these services free of charge to people affected by Hurricane Ike.

Verizon continues to assess damage to its facilities, and initial restoration efforts have begun.  Verizon expects to use technicians from other parts of Texas in coming days to expedite the restoration of service for customers in the hardest hit areas of the state.

Verizon serves a number of communities in the Houston metropolitan area, including Baytown, Dickinson, Hitchcock, Kemah, League City and Stafford, as well as communities northwest of Houston, such as Bryan and College Station.

Backup generators and batteries are powering many Verizon facilities where commercial power is lost, ensuring that customers served by those facilities still are receiving phone service.  Corded phones will work if customers' traditional Verizon land lines are active.  In addition, Verizon voice mail service - which is powered by the network - will work and can serve as a way to leave messages for family members. 

Verizon customers should call 800-483-1000 to report any landline phone outage.  Verizon repair representatives can arrange to forward calls being made to a customer's out-of-service landline to another number such as a wireless phone.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.