Long Island Crews Repair Damage After Early-Morning Mayhem

"This one was quite a challenge for us, since our outside plant facilities took an unexpected hit.”

That was the way Construction supervisor Tracey Riess described the scene in Elmont, Long Island, last week after a man drove a stolen Metropolitan Transit Authority crane truck through the neighborhood – with the crane in the upright position.

The pre-dawn mayhem on Aug. 27 resulted in no less than 15 poles being dragged out of their footings, five FiOS hub boxes severely damaged, countless drop wires plucked from the sides of homes and business, and nearly 400 Verizon customers affected in some way.

The company’s Long Island Operations team was on the scene in the area within hours of the incident.  The company deployed some 15 construction crews around the clock, cable maintenance crews were assigned, and technicians were brought into Nassau County from neighboring Suffolk County.  Verizon employees worked side-by-side with LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) officials and other emergency organizations.  As usual, the company needed to wait till LIPA gave the green light so our employees could work safely in an area, or down a block.

The company’s local Marketing team set up a portable tent staffed with two representatives, where local residents and businesses could check on the status of their repairs, and use our Voice Link device for temporary service.  Verizon Voice Link units were brought to the scene for any lingering and possible longer-term individual customers.

Also, the company’s Fleet Operations staff brought in a branded bus that acted as a hospitality area and charging station for residents’ mobile devices.  The bus also served as a wi-fi hotspot for internet connectivity.

“When we arrived at the scene we realized instantly that we had a lot of work to do, and we had some long days and nights last week,” said Riess.  “But the residents and businesses in the area got their services back pretty quickly, and our techs and reps all pulled together to make sure that this unfortunate incident had a happy ending.”