CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Verizon has dispatched dozens of repair crews to join local company technicians working around-the-clock to restore phone service in flood-ravaged areas of southern and central West Virginia.
Nearly 60 technicians from northern West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania are now in the area as Verizon wages an all-out effort to restore telephone service to its customers affected by flooding July 29.
With the additional crews, more than 300 Verizon technicians and support employees are working to restore service to customers in the hardest hit areas of the state, including Wyoming, Fayette, Boone, Nicholas, Summers, Logan, Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties.
''Last weekend's storm was not nearly as devastating as the one three weeks ago, but the damage is more spread out over a larger area,'' said Tim Jones, Verizon area manager of customer operations. ''As a result, the repair load has been about three times our normal load. Even with the extra help, our technicians will be working through the weekend to reach all affected customers until their service is repaired.''
Since Sunday, Verizon technicians have handled more than 2,200 repair reports ranging from wet phone cables to cables that have washed away. Washed-out roads and downed trees have hampered repair crews' efforts to get to affected areas, but in many locations, crews have been able to replace damaged telephone poles and cables.
''If customers have already called Verizon to request a repair, we will get their service repaired as soon as we can and there is no need for them to call back to follow up,'' said Jones. ''Our crews are feverishly working to handle all reports. However, we do want to hear from customers who have not yet notified us about an outage.''
To request a repair, Verizon customers should call 1-800-275-2355. If customers do not plan to repair or rebuild their existing home or business, they should call the Verizon business office to disconnect their service. Residential customers should call 954-6200, and business customers should call 954-6202.
Because of the tremendous amount of repair work, customers applying for new telephone service may experience a several-day delay to getting their service activated.
''Thanks to our dedicated crews, we've made significant progress in addressing the massive storm damage,'' said Jones. ''We'll continue working until we get all customers' service restored.''
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