New Hampshire and southern Maine sustain significant damage from Hurricane Sandy
Manchester, NH (October 30, 2012) - FairPoint Communications crews are continuing work to restore service in parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the aftermath of Sandy.
"New Hampshire and southern Maine took a hit from Sandy," said Pat McHugh, New Hampshire state president for FairPoint. "Our employees have been assessing the storm damage since very early this morning and have begun to restore service to customers impacted by the storm. We are still very much in the early stages of assessing the damage and the repair work likely could take a number of days, as we need to ensure downed power lines do not put our crews at risk." FairPoint primarily sustained damage from the Seacoast of New Hampshire through the central and southern portions of the state into the Keene area.
McHugh emphasized that the safety of FairPoint's employees is the primary concern as work begins to repair damage from the storm. Crews are being deployed as it becomes safe for them to begin repair work in the company's service areas. FairPoint has more than 750 employees ready - lineman, technicians and splicers - all across northern New England to restore service to the region.
It is important to note, that in weather situations where significant damage occurs, the first priority is to restore electric power. Therefore, FairPoint crews may not be able to access a repair site because of downed electrical wires or other unsafe conditions. Once road damage and debris is cleaned up, power companies can restore electricity and FairPoint follows with its repair work.
"Our operations personnel have spent the past several days implementing storm readiness precautions," said Mike Reed, Maine state president for FairPoint. "The technicians and field personnel have prepped all generators, verified all fueling, inventoried supplies and allocated staffing coverage. Now we are focused on getting our crews and equipment where they are most needed." Reed said that the southern part of Maine experienced the most damage, including York County, Cumberland County and parts of Oxford County.
FairPoint's network is backed up by batteries and generators to help ensure uninterrupted telephone service. FairPoint's emergency planning team also has been moving inventory and equipment to the areas where it is most needed.
FairPoint has already converted a number of locations to generators in the first phase of the storm. The company reports that approximately 29 of its central offices - 19 in New Hampshire, 6 in Maine and 4 in Vermont - lost commercial power during the storm and were converted to generators. It also reports that more than 100 poles have been damaged and are being replaced across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
The company is reminding people that they should make sure they have a plug-in corded phone to stay connected with friends and family or call for help if the need arises. Cordless phones will not work if the electric power goes out, absent battery back-up.
FairPoint is working with local and regional emergency authorities to obtain damage reports and coordinate the repair and restoration efforts over the next few days.
McHugh said FairPoint will provide updates as the work progresses and cautioned that the storm is not over, as the forecast indicates more inclement weather today.
About FairPoint Communications, Inc.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) is a leading communications provider of broadband Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other high-capacity data services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable fiber network, FairPoint delivers high-quality data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. FairPoint delivers VantagePointSM services through its resilient IP-based network in northern New England. This state-of-the-art fiber network provides carrier Ethernet connections to support the surging bandwidth and performance requirements for cloud-based applications like network storage, disaster recovery, distance learning, medical imaging, video conferencing and CAD/CAM along with traditional voice, VoIP, video and Internet access solutions. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com. You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/fairpoint) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/myfairpoint).