The Coastal Post - January, 1996

Pac Bell's Emergency Generators

Nearly one million customers in more than 100 communities throughout Central and Northern California—from the coast to the mountains—are continuing to call, fax and otherwise conduct business as usual despite losing commercial power.

"Overall our repair workload is about two times the normal amount in the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano because of weather-related problems," said Norma Howard, Media Manager. Howard said customer problems range from static, noise, clicking sounds, cross talk and no dial tone on wet cables drenched by heavy rains, to downed lines whipped by gale-force winds in some areas.

Widespread commercial power outrages have forced 44 of the company's call processing offices in the North Bay to switch to emergency generators to maintain telephone service. Howard said the central offices can run on backup power indefinitely if the company has access to the impacted areas.

Customers need to make sure they report any trouble with their telephone lines to the company's 611 repair bureau only once. Some customers may experience delays in reaching 611 because of heavy call volume, but Howard urged individuals to stay on the line once connected.