October 31, 2012, 1:27 PM — Two days after Hurricane Sandy hit northeast U.S. coastal areas, power and communications outages are continuing to be a concern, especially in lower Manhattan.
Verizon posted a dramatic photo online early Wednesday showing the lobby of one of its primary Manhattan facilities flooded in two feet of water early Monday. The photo shows floodwater reaching up on a reception desk and several doorways.
Verizon also reported early Wednesday that it continues to have "significant issues" in lower Manhattan, and that it may take Con Edison a week to restore power to that area. Removing contaminated floodwater requires monitoring by environmental agencies, which will affect the amount of time required, Verizon said.
Verizon didn't offer details on service outages in its latest online update, but wired and wireless communications outages have been widespread across all the major carriers, from the Northeast coast to West Virginia, where Sandy caused a blizzard in the mountains. The outages have affected all four major wireless carriers -- Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA.
Mid-day Tuesday, New York users tweeted that they were seeing lines of people at neighborhood pay phones to make calls. Some data communications, including tweets, are easier to make when cellular networks are down or burdened by heavy use, according to the carriers.
Verizon has been posting regular updates, and Tuesday night said the storm surge had resulted in flooding at several Verizon facilities in lower Manhattan and other parts of the New York area, interrupting commercial and backup power at the sites, making them inoperable. In some cases, Verizon teams were unable to access those sites, Verizon said.
Two major network hubs critical to the nation's infrastructure in lower Manhattan have been operating on generator power due to the storm and flooding, Computerworld reported late Tuesday. The hubs, including one owned by Google, are used to provide network connections for telecommunications companies.