Landline outage affecting residents for nearly a month
UPDATE: As of Monday, July 1, AT&T reports that all services in this area are back up and working.
ROUGE - A woman who relies on her Life Alert in the event of an accident says she hasn't been able to use the service she pays for because her AT&T landline is down.
Thelma Perkins has been wearing a Life Alert around her neck for years and says it's come in handy a few times.
"I've fallen several times, you press the button, they come right over," said Perkins.
Since June 6, she's stored her Life Alert away and kept her cell phone close by in case of emergencies. Perkins, who's been an AT&T customer since she moved into her Southern Heights home in 1964, says she's not the only one with the issue. Her neighbors, some of whom also rely on a Life Alert device, say their AT&T service is out.
AT&T says it's identified the issue. Underground equipment is in need of repair, but the underground manhole it needs to access the equipment is flooded. The company is working to drain that manhole and in the meantime has put in place an alternate route that is restoring service to landline customers affected by the flooding in Southern Heights.
The information about what happened took some time to reach residents. Perkins says it wasn't until 2 On Your Side stepped in that she learned the root of the problem. Louisiana State Senator Regina Barrow has also been working to identify the issue and says it's taken far too long to address.
"I was really disappointed on how they handled that entire situation," said Barrow. "For individuals to be without services for nearly a month and had not received any type of communication, I thought that was very poor."
Barrow is grateful there hasn't been an incident.
"My hope and prayer is that they get this fixed immediately," she said.
AT&T says this outage affects a small number of landline customers in the area. The flooding is a result of severe weather from earlier this month.
If customers have questions about their billing, call the AT&T customer care team at 1-800-331-0500.