Cable Operators

Killer Storms Rip South

5/02/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

The spate of recent tornadoes hit deadly
new levels last week as storms in Alabama, Mississippi,
Tennessee and elsewhere in the South left 291 or more
dead, according to accounts at press time.

At least 204
people alone were
killed in Alabama,
The New York
Times
reported,
including when
a tornado ripped
through downtown
Tuscaloosa.
A spokeswoman
for Comcast said
last Thursday afternoon
(April 28)
the company was “working diligently to restore service
as quickly as possible [in Tuscaloosa]. However, service
power will need to be restored before the full extent of the
damage can be ascertained. We do not yet have an estimate
as to when this will occur. Comcast crews have limited
access to some of the more severely affected areas in
Tuscaloosa but will join with other utilities in these areas
to restore service as soon as they are stabilized and the
safety of our work crews can be maintained.”

Cobridge Communications issued a report on damage
to systems in Alabama and Arkansas, with hundreds of
homes without power or cable as of 11 a.m. Thursday, and
said it would provide updates on its Web site.

Prior to last week’s killer tornadoes, on Friday, April 22,
the most powerful tornado in the St. Louis area in 44 years
(EF-4 level) ripped into Lambert-St. Louis International
Airport and destroyed up to 100 homes. Charter Communications,
the dominant cable operator in metro St. Louis,
last week pledged $50,000 to the local American Red
Cross recovery efforts.

Time Warner Cable had hundreds of employees working
at restoration efforts after tornadoes in the eastern part
of North Carolina (principally around Raleigh) on April 16
destroyed hundreds of homes and killed 24 people.

TWC initially donated $25,000 to the American Red
Cross in that region. Last Friday, TWC and its News 14
Carolina local-news channel held a telethon to raise money
for the American Red Cross tornado-recovery efforts
— and said the cable company would match donations
received up to $75,000.

Other Time Warner Cable efforts locally include providing
83 Personal Mobile Hot Spots for use by families
displaced by storm damage and a partnership with Cisco
to set up FEMA’s 24x7 Emergency Response Unit in
Raleigh.

September