Our customers’ ability to connect is critical to Uniti, which is why we are working 24x7 and using all available resources to restore service in Hurricane Ida-impacted areas. We will provide additional updates as the recovery continues and would like to extend special thanks to Governor John Bel Edwards’ Homeland Security team and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s for facilitating access to those locations that need our attention.
Our Mississippi and Alabama networks saw minimal impact from the storm and are fully operational.
In advance of Hurricane Ida’s landfall on August 29, Uniti activated our rigorous advance storm preparation and activation protocols, engaging our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to initiate assessment activities. Our “all hands-on deck” approach is built on highly detailed processes that include coordination between our logistics, operations, engineering, OSP/ISP, and GIS and enable us to assess, move and coordinate restoration effectively, keeping the safety of our customers, employees and communities at the top of our priority list.
By dispatching key repair personnel, supplies, mobile generators and fuel to strategic locations along the perimeter of the predicted storm path, we were prepared to start restoration efforts as soon as emergency officials allowed our teams access to impacted areas.
Post Storm Activity:
Throughout the duration of the event, our EOC has been in communication with FEMA, local Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and first responder organizations, constantly realigning our resources to better serve their needs as well as to ensure our efforts are not in conflict with those of other local restoration entities.
To ensure network integrity and restoration efficiency, we use a highly advanced, real-time geographic information system that integrates with our Network Operations Center (NOC) alarm and monitoring systems. As Ida-related outages began, our real-time GIS dashboards provided deeper visibility into specific outage locations and customer types, allowing us to determine areas of greatest need and prepare our repair teams accordingly.
We use a sectored approach – prioritized by the EOC – when mobilizing repair crews, as determined by external factors including local EMA guidance, physical barriers, potential for further damage and more. Once conditions allowed after Ida made landfall, we immediately deployed our expert teams into the impacted areas, along with all the equipment and resources required to begin ground-level crisis management.
In most instances, these teams have successfully navigated the storm damage in order to safely gain access to our network locations and begin assessment and repair. We will continue to deploy additional resources as necessary. As commercial power may be unavailable in key areas for quite a while, we are prepared to maintain and refuel generators until power is restored.
We’ve made significant progress in our repair and restoration efforts; while the initial outage report included approximately 1,100 customers, we have successfully restored service to more than 750 customer nodes.
Note: Customers can open trouble tickets or check ticket status at any time by logging into OneViewTM – our self-service customer portal.
- Significant structural damage in many areas may cause longer timelines for restoration; as those issues are resolved, we are confident we will be able to quickly restore service to the remainder of our impacted customers.
Our repair experts remain deployed across the impacted areas and are working around the clock to continue restoration efforts.
Safety remains our top priority for our team, our customers, and our communities as we work on recovery efforts; as our crews who have been working since before the storm made landfall rotate out, we have team members from other markets rotating in to continue the work.
Our EOC continues to hold daily update calls, while keeping an internal open line available 24x7 for real-time updates, support, and issue mitigation.
Significant areas of focus are:
To protect our Network in impacted areas from further damage as debris removal and power crews move in.
To keep our Core and distribution layers of the network healthy as we move to restore our customers at the edge
To direct manpower into our most impacted areas – for example, Hammond, New Orleans, Houma and Thibodaux
Our Joint Operations Center (JOC) – a fully mobile, fully functional network operations command center that can be positioned anywhere in our footprint to restore connectivity after natural disasters – was deployed on August 30th in Hammond, LA and may be relocated to another impacted area soon.