Hurricane damage frustrates AT&T customers

Ken Amaro reports. 10/18/2016

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- In Windstruck Acres, the problem is not wind - it's the water.

"It is really heartbreaking," said April Johnston.

Her entire neighborhood was under three feet of water. Days after Hurricane Mathew some are still without phones or internet. Johnston decided to make the rounds with flyers

"I have printed out some flyers today just to walk around to some of the neighbors," said Johnston. "We have a lot of elderly here in the neighborhood, with the FEMA number because a lot of people don't have the Internet."

Helen Mincer spent 48 minutes on the phone with AT&T on Monday frustrated by the process.

"It has been very difficult because we cannot get in contact with people and they cannot get in contact with us," she said.

AT&T restored her phone service on Tuesday, but the her internet is still out.

"He said maybe a week or even longer because they have to exchange the whole box," said Mincer.

Anastasia Catholic Church is in hurricane relief mode, but the effort is being hampered by the lack of phone or internet service.

"It has really been difficult," said Brian Schooner. "We have been doing pencil and paper and yellow note pads."

Schoonover said an AT&T technician checked the system and told him it had water damage.

"Storm surge just came out of the box," he said, "so they said that changed the scope of the project from a repair to a rebuild they said that's salt water intrusion.

Schoonover said he was told they have to no parts to make an immediate repair. 

AT&T crews have been in the area, but it appears the flood did more damage than expected; it has placed everyone on hold and it is adding to their frustration.

"[I] said does that put us to the top of the list because we are trying to help with the hurricane relief. He said he has about 300 open tickets so I don't know where we fall," said Schoonover.


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