Overbuilder WideOpenWest said it has restored a “significant” part of its network in Dothan, Ala., after damage caused by Hurricane Michael and expects service in its Panama City territory to be restored as power comes back to the area.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on Oct. 10 in Mexico Beach, Fla., as a Category 4 storm with winds up to 155 mph. The storm cut a path of destruction through seven states from Florida through to Virginia, causing an estimated $8 billion in damage as of Oct. 12. The death toll of the storm is currently at 18, but could go higher as dozens of residents in the affected areas are unaccounted for.
In Dothan, WOW said its engineers have been working to bring back service and expect a full return to service as power is restored over the next few days.
Access to Panama City is restricted to essential personnel and emergency services only and power remains down throughout the community. WOW said its main office in the city was severely damaged and alternate workspace will be required for its employees once it is safe for them to return to the area.
WOW said that although there are widespread power outages in Panama City, its headend is operating on generator power and fuel trucks are staged to enter the area as soon as they are allowed. At this time, approximately 30,000 WOW customers are without service.
WOW continues to account for all its Panama City employees and has gathered critical supplies - food, water and safe living options - for those who need them.
“Our hearts go out to our neighbors and friends affected by this historic storm,” said WOW CEO Teresa Elder in a statement. “We are fully committed to serving all those affected by Hurricane Michael and are working with the community to help restore communication services to Panama City and Dothan as quickly as possible.”
WOW!'s networks in Augusta, Columbus, Georgia, and Charleston sustained less severe impacts from the storm and are open and operating normally.
WOW! has made a $25,000 donation to assist its employees with their recovery. Additionally, WOW! employees are donating to recovery efforts through the American Red Cross here. This microsite is open to WOW! customers and the general public. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross.
The best way for customers to contact WOW! for more information, or to report an outage, is to visit wowway.com or to call 1-855-4-WOW-WAY for recorded real-time updates. The company is also providing updates on Twitter and Facebook.