FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) announced on Tuesday that repair crews are in the process of restoring service throughout its Northern New England territory, including Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, now that Hurricane Sandy has passed through the region.
Much of the damage in Northern New England states was found in New Hampshire and southern Maine.
Pat McHugh, New Hampshire state president for FairPoint, said they have "have begun to restore service to customers impacted by the storm" but 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."
In the New Hampshire region, FairPoint saw the brunt of the damage from the New Hampshire Seacoast through the central and southern portions of the state into the Keene area.
Although FairPoint has over 750 employees ready–including linemen, technicians and splicers–to conduct necessary repairs throughout New England, there will be various places where they won't be able to access immediately due to downed power lines.
Central Maine Power Co. said that 147,000 of its customers lost power during the storm, while state New Hampshire's state utilities said that as of Tuesday morning over 179,000 homes and businesses were without power.
Mike Reed, Maine state president for FairPoint, said that southern Maine communities, including York County, Cumberland County and parts of Oxford County, were hit hardest by the storm.
Reed said that since "The technicians and field personnel have prepped all generators, verified all fueling, inventoried supplies and allocated staffing coverage," they are "now focused on getting our crews and equipment where they are most needed."
To maintain basic telephone service, FairPoint said it is backing up its network with a mix of batteries and generators and moving equipment to the most affected areas.
During the first phase of the storm, FairPoint said about 29 of its central offices (COs)—including 19 in New Hampshire, 6 in Maine and 4 in Vermont–that lost power were converted to generators. In addition, the telco said that over 100 telephone poles have been damaged and are being currently replaced across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
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