Verizon is assessing damage and beginning to restore service to consumers, enterprise clients and government agencies after Hurricane Sandy's landfall Monday night (Oct. 29) along the southern New Jersey shore.
Despite massive flooding and the loss of commercial power in many locations, the company's networks are functioning well, with serious problems in lower Manhattan and stress in the greater New York metropolitan area. Verizon is delivering a significant amount of calls and providing Internet connectivity as people stay in touch during and after this historic storm.
Across the company's wireless, consumer and enterprise businesses, Verizon teams along the East Coast and in the Midwest are confronting a host of Sandy's effects - ranging from closed roads, high water, blizzard-like conditions and continued heavy rain and high winds, to downed trees and other debris - as they fan out to assess damage and bring back service for consumers and businesses.
In many cases, Verizon must wait for power companies to restore their facilities and declare the area safe before the company's technicians can move in to restore voice, Internet and/or TV services to customers.
(NOTE: Verizon Wireline customers can receive updates at www.verizon.com/outage.)
Verizon national and regional command and control centers remain in operation, and Verizon is in close touch with power and other service providers, local government officials and others to ensure proper coordination of restoral efforts. The company is also working closely with public safety officials to ensure emergency communications remain operational.
"Sandy has left a trail of destruction throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with historic flooding in New York and New Jersey and a hurricane-fueled snowstorm in southwest Virginia and western Maryland," said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon's Consumer and Mass Business division. "We are asking the public to remain focused on staying safe as there may be dangerous conditions such as fallen trees or power lines. Our dedicated employees - from technicians to customer service consultants - run to a crisis and will continue to do what it takes to put customers back in touch.
"Although we will be working with all available resources to restore service for our customers, some pockets of damage are extensive and could take up to a week or more to fully restore," said Mudge. "Some restorals will require physical rebuilding of our facilities, and others will require the return of commercial power."
Calls over Verizon's wireline network on Sunday (Oct. 28) as Sandy neared were nearly two times the normal volume. Customers experienced sporadic network congestion due to the extremely high calling volumes.
Despite the widespread loss of commercial power across the region, more than 200 Verizon facilities continue to serve customers on backup power. The company engineers its networks with backup power to provide redundant, uninterrupted service in critical facilities such as switching offices, cell sites, and cloud and data centers.
Unprecedented Flooding in New York City Damages Verizon Facilities
Sandy's record-setting storm surge resulted in flooding at several key Verizon facilities in lower Manhattan, Queens and Long Island, interrupting commercial power and rendering backup power systems at these sites inoperable. In some cases, Verizon teams have not been able to access the sites, due to flooding and safety concerns. In others, teams are working round-the-clock to reroute and restore services.
Customers can contact Verizon online at www.verizon.com/outage to report any wireline service-related issues; or call 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966). Please note that hold times may be longer than normal due to higher calling volumes.
Nicola Palmer, vice president-network and chief technical officer for Verizon Wireless, said: "The Verizon Wireless network withstood the severe weather along the Eastern Seaboard resulting from Hurricane Sandy and is functioning solidly -- particularly in the hardest-hit areas in the Northeast, where more than 94 percent of our cell sites are up and running - and all our switching and data centers are functioning normally. Although our network teams are working to restore areas where customers may be experiencing some service issues, the majority of the problems are 'out-of-service' sites resulting from multiple factors, including telecommunications provider service disruption, power outages and flooding in low-lying areas such as the tip of lower Manhattan."
Large business and government clients of Verizon Enterprise Solutions in Sandy's impact zone continue to work with customer service and implementation teams to assess and restore services. The business is working closely with power companies throughout the affected regions, as well as health care providers, emergency service providers and governments at the local, state and federal levels, assisting in critical services restoration.
Regular news updates from Verizon Enterprise Solutions are at www.verizonbusiness.com/info/hurricane. In addition, business clients can access information and communicate directly with the company through the Verizon Enterprise Center: https://enterprisecenter.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.
Verizon Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to American Red Cross
To help provide immediate relief to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Verizon Foundation has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Verizon also is matching employee donations to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army (up to $1,000 per employee).
In addition to the American Red Cross grant, Verizon Wireless customers can make a $10 donation by texting the numbers listed below:
- REDCROSS to 90999 to support the American Red Cross
- STORM to 80888 to give to the Salvation Army
- HUMANE to 80888 for the American Humane Association
- UWHC to 52000 to the United Way of Hudson County, N.J.
Customers who would like to give more can donate up to five times their original donation through this texting option. For example, customers making a $10 donation can give up to $50. Text-messaging fees will be waived, and 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the listed organizations.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.