Printer Friendly

BELLSOUTH REPAIRS MIAMI, AIDS RELIEF GULF NETWORKS BRACE FOR ANDREW'S ONSLAUGHT

 BELLSOUTH REPAIRS MIAMI, AIDS RELIEF
 GULF NETWORKS BRACE FOR ANDREW'S ONSLAUGHT
 ATLANTA, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Mobility's South Florida operations is assessing the damage from category-IV Hurricane Andrew, while offices along the Gulf Coast prepare for a potential sequel.
 BMI's South Dade MTSO, which went down when the roof was blown off the building housing it, is back in operation today. That is good news since BellSouth Mobility is the official cellular provider for the state of Florida's disaster recovery and relief program.
 "We've distributed more than 300 programmed phones to area emergency and civil defense programs," said Bob Frame, regional vice president, BellSouth Mobility. "Our staff is in constant touch with Governor Chiles and his staff at the Department of Emergency Management.
 "The most populated areas have some cellular coverage," said Frame. "Out of the cell sites in the area, only four are operational, at the moment, but we've boosted power to those sites to expand coverage."
 South Miami area's cellular system was hit hardest. The bulk of the cell sites' problems resulted from wind damage to microwave equipment and loss of power. Much of the power is still out in the south Dade County area, but batteries and generators are backing-up working cell sites. Two cell sites near Homestead, Fla., were damaged by winds exceeding 140 miles an hour.
 Despite damage to company buildings and employees' homes, BellSouth Mobility employees have reported back to work to help the recovery effort.
 "All our engineers are out in the field assessing the damage," said Frame. "As soon as we know what we're facing, we can bring in the additional manpower and equipment to get these sites operational again."
 Meantime, BellSouth Cellular's operations along the Gulf Coast, from Mobile to Houston, are preparing for a possible assault from the hurricane.
 "We've made sure all our systems are working and have six to eight hours of battery reserve or access to mobile diesel generators," said Leo Capponi, operations manager, New Orleans. "We have a fixed diesel generator at the MTSO that can go as long as there is diesel fuel.
 "All field engineers are on call and engineering system support is on standby," said Capponi. "The site we are most concerned about is on Grand Isle; if we loose that site, we have portable buildings available for speedy replacement."
 According to Joe Larussa, general manager, BellSouth Mobility in Lafayette, his crews have initiated all possible technical precautions to safeguard the networks. Generators and back-up batteries are operational. Larussa's main concern is the microwave dishes used to send signals. Similar microwave equipment in Miami was damaged by Andrew.
 "Right now we're focusing on what we can do to support emergency and civil defense crews," said Larussa. "Yesterday, the staff pulled 30 portables, charged them and gave them numbers. We delivered six to the Civil Defense which is now evacuating Morgan City, an area we think will be hit first.
 "We are coordinating with New Iberia, just south of Lafayette, providing phones to civil defense and 911 personnel," said Larussa. "The local sheriff's department and Lafayette relief teams are using our phones to coordinate communications between shelters."
 Larussa also provided cellular phones to a local television station to augment reporting during the storm. The mayor and parish president also received phones.
 Bobby April, general manager, New Orleans, described similar emergency support efforts. His sales and service people have programmed and distributed more than 80 phones.
 "We've been besieged with calls from municipalities for communications needs, in case their radio systems go down," said April. "The public hospital, too, requested phones. We expect to have well over 100 phones circulating before the storm hits, and we're talking to suppliers, just in case we need more."
 Similar efforts to prepare for Andrew are underway at BellSouth Cellular networks in Mobile and Baton Rouge.
 "BellSouth employees in the Gulf area will wait out the storm in their homes or shelters," said April. "We've established a hotline, so that they can call in and receive updates on when they need to report back to work."
 -0- 8/25/92
 /CONTACT: Trish McLaughlin, 404-604-6493, or Steve Berman, 305-776-2411, both of BellSouth Mobility/ CO: BellSouth Mobility ST: Florida IN: TLS SU:


BN-BR -- AT024 -- 3198 08/25/92 17:15 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1992
Words:710
Previous Article:SAFEWAY ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER TRENDS
Next Article:CONSILIUM ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS
Topics:


Related Articles
TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK WEATHERS HURRICANE ANDREW WELL
BELLSOUTH MOBILITY REPORTS ON STATUS OF CELLULAR SYSTEM
STROH SUPPORTS HURRICANE ANDREW RELIEF EFFORTS WITH DRINKING WATER SHIPMENTS
BELLSOUTH MARSHALS TELEPHONE TROOPS TO FIGHT HURRICANE ON TWO FRONTS
BELLSOUTH MOBILITY SERVICE IN LOUISIANA SURVIVES HURRICANE ANDREW TO SUPPORT RECOVERY AND RELIEF
BELLSOUTH MARSHALS TELEPHONE TROOPS TO FIGHT HURRICANE ON TWO FRONTS
MCI PROVIDES FREE PHONE SERVICE TO SOUTH FLORIDA RESIDENTS
HISPANICS LEND A HAND TO HURRICANE ANDREW VICTIMS
HISPANICS LEND A HAND FOR HURRICANE ANDREW VICTIMS
BellSouth Rallies Behind Its Neighbors In Wake Of Hurricane Georges' Fury.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters