Wednesday, October 7, 2015         

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Wet phone lines spur 10-hour work shifts

By Gregg K. Kakesako


Hawaiian Telcom received 600 trouble calls this week, the majority from businesses and residences in Leeward Oahu, where rain was heaviest during the storm.

Waianae Valley recorded 8.36 inches of rain in a 24-hour period that ended Thursday morning, while Lualualei recorded 6.23 inches.

Hawaiian Telcom, which has 450,000 customers, said in a prepared statement that "during heavy downpours water can seep into and damage underground and aerial cables. In some cases, service may return once the cables have dried but sometimes more extensive and complex repair efforts are required after rains subside."

Customers with problems with their phone service have been getting recorded messages saying that it could take at least a week for the phone company to restore service.

Ann Nishida Fry, Hawaiian Telcom spokeswoman, said, "Hawaiian Telcom has scheduled crews to work 10-hour shifts, seven days a week to address issues that range from static to loss of service."

Customers who lost service have the option of having their calls forwarded to a working number such as a cell phone, she said.

Earlier this month Hawaiian Telcom said it received 1,800 trouble calls associated with several weeks of heavy rain in December.

Fry said all of those problems have been cleared up.

The December rain damaged its facilities and equipment, Fry said.

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