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Posted by Joe York on October 12, 2017.

The 2017 Hurricane season has been a one-two punch with Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria causing extensive damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Impact from the recent storms on the Islands has been unprecedented. The breadth of the power outages, and the expected lengthy duration of territory-wide power outage, is a barometer of the devastation.

We made significant progress on our restoration from Irma, but much of that work was undone by the direct hit from Maria. We are dedicated to restoring normal service to more locations as quickly, and as safely, as we can.

What is working

Currently we have coverage on much of St. Thomas, including the airport, the FEMA location at V.I. University, the hospital and parts of St. Croix, including Christiansted.

St. John has some coverage on the west side of the Island, which faces St. Thomas.

Our response
ArrowBefore the storm hit, we staged emergency response equipment in strategic locations across the areas expected to be affected.

ArrowWe deployed a temporary cell site to Nana’s Hill on St. Thomas, to augment service in the area around the airport.

ArrowDeployed additional personnel to support restoration efforts.

ArrowRefueled generators with more than 4K gallons of fuel.
ArrowA temporary cell site continues to provide service at Nana’s Hill on St. Thomas, to augment service in the area around the airport.

Arrow2 Satellite (SAT) phones provided to AT&T techs on USVI, Contractors arrived with their own SAT phones. FEMA and National Guard have their own SAT phones. ATT Mobility Retail has offered 100 phones and 80 FirstNet phones to John McClain of the (NCC) National Coordinating Center for Communications to use as needed.

Arrow5 additional generators were needed to bring power to all 32 sites, 27 sites in USVI already had permanent generators.

ArrowWe have completed 4 ships and 1 plane total to USVI with generators, supplies and crews.

Arrow15 additional team members with specific skills sets were added in the USVI supported by more than 1K team members’ stateside working on recovery and restoration efforts.

ArrowPrior to the storm, we prepped 8K gallons of fuel on St. Thomas and an additional 8K gallons on St. Croix.

ArrowWe continue to make progress in restoring our network in USVI, and we are working with the National Guard and FEMA to deliver additional equipment and supplies.

Our Retail Presence

ArrowOur St. Thomas store re-opened just 3 days after Category 4 hurricane Maria hit on Sept. 20.

ArrowOur 3 kiosks in the U.S. Virgin Islands remain closed.

AT&T offers customers unlimited connectivity in areas impacted by Hurricane Maria
ArrowWe know that during natural disasters staying connected to friends and family is more important than ever, and we want to help.

ArrowRunning from Sept. 20 through Oct. 31, we’re automatically issuing credits and waiving additional fees to give unlimited data, talk and texts to AT&T wireless customers and unlimited talk and texts to AT&T PREPAID customers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.* We are also extending payment dates for impacted AT&T PREPAID customers with voice and text service through Oct. 31.

ArrowTo help those affected by Hurricane Maria across Puerto Rico, we encourage you to text ‘MARIA’ to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross to help prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters.**

ArrowDuring this time, landline customers can also make free calls between the U.S. and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

ArrowCustomers in these areas may still receive data alert notifications during these protected dates, but billing will reflect the correct data charges. AT&T also will waive or adjust late payment charges for its wireless, home internet, voice, and video service customers in these areas, in bills generated as early as Sept. 8 and running through Nov. 30.

ArrowFor customers who have family and friends in the Caribbean who may be impacted, we’re also automatically issuing credits to provide unlimited texts, wireless calls and landline calls from the U.S. to the British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, Saint Martin and Saint Maarten from Sept. 20 to Sept. 29.

ArrowImpacted video and home internet customers can go to our support page for information or to report service outages.

ArrowWe’ll continue to assess the impact on customers in additional locations.

We are making steady progress in deploying equipment and have restored service to a number of additional sites in St. Croix. Crews are working to repair microwave transport facilities on the Island and teams will be deploying to St. John to deliver and deploy equipment and supporting recovery efforts.

While we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish with the assistance and cooperation of the Governor of the USVI and FEMA. Given the double blast the islands took, we are still a long way from the finish line. We all need to stay focused and continue to work toward a complete recovery of our network and the lives of our employees and the citizens of U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was a great relief for me to know that the AT&T family in USVI was safe after the danger passed, I was so proud to see that, as is our heritage, they all got back to work to immediately to reconnect the people of the USVI to their world.

Thank you again for all you are doing!

AT&T offers customers unlimited connectivity in areas impacted by Hurricane Maria


Joe York
President — AT&T Florida, Puerto Rico & US-VI

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Keywords: Hurricane Maria, hurricane, natural disaster, first responders, recovery
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