Shreveport LA Telephone outage continues : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Telephone outage continues 09/24/00 By Brandy N. Evans and John Andrew Prime The Times

Crews will replace cable to restore customers' service.

More than 100 local BellSouth customers continued to be without telephone service Saturday as crews tried to replace a sodden cable in the vicinity of Line Avenue and Pierremont Road.

"This is the life blood of anybodys home," said Jules Fogel, who runs a real estate business out of his home on East Ridge Drive. "Its inexcusable."

Meantime, BellSouth regional director Kevin McCotter made his latest in a string of projections this week: All service should be restored by sometime late today. "We have determined that the old cable is thoroughly wet, which makes the cutover to the new cable extremely slow and tedious."

It was Day Six of the outage for some businesses in the Pierremont district, while others enjoyed on-and-off service. For some, the voice line worked but the fax line was out. For others, the opposite was true. Homeowners in the area also were affected.

"We had problems with our credit card lines for about three days. But other than that, we havent had a problem," said Sean Naquin, service manager of Semolinas Restaurant. "But weve been taking phone orders, and weve got a full house."

But a block south, cashier Holly Smith at the Circle K Express reported a big outage on a Saturday night. "The (lines) that run the lottery are out, and the pay phones are out."

The source of their problems: Earlier this week, water seeped into a cable running beneath Line Avenue near Pierremont Road. Saturday, a half-dozen BellSouth trucks were there with technicians underground and a pit so large (youd swear you saw it on the Discovery Channel) causing yet one more bottleneck for city drivers.

The seepage and resultant damage caused at least 170 Shreveport residential and business lines to go dead or register rapid busy signals.

"It seem we have encountered every possible bad-luck scenario," McCotter said.

For the Burger King restaurant just south of Pierremont, loss of the telephone lines has been a problem. "We get a lot of phone calls," and that could mean lost business, manager Martha Green said. "You never know what people are calling about. And our faxes, we cant get them. It affects district managers telling us whats coming in -- we cant the faxes, and thats a problem."

The fax lines also were out at Monsieur Patous, restaurateur Horia Hebert said. But she was more irritated by another outage. "All our home phone lines are out."

So, too, telephones were out at Jose Munoz Fiesta Grille, and one telephone line was out at Blockbuster Video nearby.

The free voice mail service still stands for those inconvenienced by BellSouths work laying 500 feet of cable between two manholes on Line Avenue, McCotter said.

The repairs wont happen soon enough for BellSouth customer Katy Blount, who was renting a video at Blockbuster with her son Carson, 7. "The phones have been going out every time theres a rainstorm. And sometimes, its several days before theyre back on."

-- Martin Thompson (, September 24, 2000

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