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AT&T testifies about flood outage fiasco

1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago August 31, 2016 Aug 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31 2016 August 31, 2016 6:01 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- Cell phone company AT&T was on the hot seat Wednesday testifying before the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Officials wanted to know why customers were unable to reach loved ones or call for rescue during recent flooding.

"Connectivity, now we've come to rely on that as a way of life," said commissioner Scott Angelle.

Executives explained they were caught off guard when the heart of their operation flooded two weeks ago. AT&T's local "switching center" got twenty-six inches of water even though it was not in a flood zone.

"We heard reports of water running up through the storm drains running backwards," said AT&T's Rick Demint to the commission.

The switching center sits fifty feet above sea level according to flood zone maps. Commissioners want the company to make sure a similar outage doesn't happen again.

After their testimony, WBRZ asked executives if the company intends to charge customers the cost of fortifying its infrastructure. They declined to comment.

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