From press reports
MetroCast Communications, the video, Internet and phone provider with offices in eight Mississippi communities, has put its full focus on restoring video, Internet and phone services in the wake of tornadoes Monday afternoon which caused power outages and widespread damage in Louisville and other Mississippi communities.
The violent storms, including a category 4 tornado in Louisville, damaged portions of the
MetroCast distribution network, including the fiber interconnect which provides service to customers outside of the immediate storm impact area, including the communities of Philadelphia, Carthage, Noxapater, Union, Decatur and Newton.
Repairs to the interconnect successfully restored signal along the fiber path by Wednesday afternoon. Rick Ferrall, Regional Manager for MetroCast, said that the extent of damage in the areas directly impacted by the tornadoes will present obstacles to repair for individual neighborhoods, but that MetroCast is working hard to restore services as soon as possible.
“As soon as we were able to gain safe access to the damaged network, our team set out under challenging conditions to restore vital communications services to homes and businesses,” he said. “Because poles are down, and replacement poles have not yet been set, temporary lines have been run while repairs are being made. The temporary repairs, however, also have been subject to new damage due to the work being conducted by other crews involved in the restoration effort. The re-repair of these lines is also ongoing.”
“We understand how important these services are to our customers and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding at this difficult time,” said Ferrall. “As our technicians are able to gain safe access to damaged circuits and distribution networks, and once repairs are made and electric power reactivated, we will be able to quickly restore service to customers that still are without service.”
As part of the restoration effort underway, MetroCast has re-established service at the city offices in Louisville. In addition, it has established a hotspot for wireless Internet service near the Louisville City Hall (200 S. Church Street, Louisville, where a command center is located), with additional hotspots planned for the Wal-Mart parking lot (159 Highway 15 South, Louisville) and East Central Community College (923 South Church Street, Louisville) to assist those who are temporarily without Internet service because of tornado damage.
In addition, MetroCast has announced that it will make a $5,000 donation to Winston County Community Development, Inc. Disaster Relief Fund and will promote the Fund in its on-air announcements and on its website.
Ferrall acknowledged the work being done by teams responding in the region to the disaster. “I am grateful for the dedication of the MetroCast team, and the effort being made by all those who are engaged in the cleanup and recovery effort in our community. Most of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have suffered injury, the loss of loved ones and the destruction of homes and property,” he said.