Suddenlink Continues Repairs on Texas Systems Hit by Ike

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Suddenlink Communications is undertaking repair work in the East Texas systems that suffered the worst damage from Hurricane Ike, but business is back as usual at its mid-South operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri, officials said Thursday.

The cable operator’s systems north of Houston—namely those in Kingwood, Conroe and Lake Conroe—sustained the worst damage from Hurricane Ike, and power remains out in those areas.

Suddenlink didn’t have any immediate estimates as to how many subscribers are without cable service.

Repairs have begun on more than 20,000 feet of cable, fiber and strand that were damaged in Kingwood. Most nodes (neighborhood distribution points) in Conroe are being powered by Suddenlink generators.

In many of the hardest hit areas, Suddenlink crews must wait for commercial power crews to complete their work before they can safely work on cable system repairs, the cable operator said in a press release.

There are about 30 locations in Lake Conroe where trees had fallen on fiber. Damaged fiber connecting Conroe and Lake Conroe has been repaired. Local reports indicate about 300 drops, or connections from customer locations to the Suddenlink network, were down in Lake Conroe.

In Huntsville, reports indicate about 50 drops and 1,000 feet of cable were down. 

In Lufkin, early assessment indicated a number of drops were down and damage to cable strand in more the 25 locations. In Nacogdoches, Suddenlink found more than 25 locations where cable was down, including more than 11,000 feet of feeder and trunk cable. 

Reports from Jacksonville indicated at least 50 drops were down and some 15 to 20 locations where fiber and feeder were down. 

In Tyler, Athens, Henderson and Gladewater Suddenlink managers report activity has returned to business-as-usual status.

 “We’re making great progress in most areas of East Texas,” Suddenlink Texoma Region Vice President Todd Cruthird said in a prepared statement. “In Kingwood, Conroe and Lake Conroe, where we’ve seen the most damage, we’ve simply had to wait on power crews to complete their work before we can safely do much of ours. Where we can, we’ve brought in generators to provide power for our neighborhood nodes in order to be able to provide service as soon as individual customers get power.”

Cruthird said Suddenlink had staged its own crews and contracted crews to begin work in needed areas once Hurricane Ike passed.

Suddenlink also has provided cable services to shelters in East Texas.

Repairs after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike are for the most part completed in Suddenlink’s mid-South Region, which includes systems in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. Suddenlink is now operating business as usual in all mid-South systems. Advanced planning allowed extra crews and materials to be ready to move in quickly after the storms passed.   

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