95 Percent of Cell Sites in Storm-Tossed LA Now Work: All TX Sites Are Up

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Communications in the counties of Louisiana and Texas impacted by Hurricane Laura continue to improve two weeks after the storm hit the Gulf Coast. Thursday, far fewer counties in both states were part of the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS); just after the storm, all counties in both states were affected.

In Louisiana, just over 200,000 households remained without power as were just over 15,000 in Texas. That compares to more than 900,000 combined just after the storm, according to PowerOutageUS.

Of the 1,994 cell sites serviced in the Louisiana DIRS reporting area, 105, or just over 5 percent, were not working yesterday. That compares to 4,650 cell sites served in Louisiana, just after the storm, when 380 were not working.

Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes in Louisiana, where Laura made landfall, were hit especially hard and their numbers continue to improve. Thursday, 44 out of 185 cell sites in Calcasieu Parish were not working (almost 24 percent). 22 had transport issues, 13 had no power and four were damaged. Those with transport issues are sites that have problems with the (typically wireline) networks that route communications traffic to and from cell sites.

In Cameron Parish Thursday, out of 29 cell sites served, seven (just over 24 percent), were not working. Four were damaged, two had transport issues and one had no power, according to DIRS. The numbers contrast with those of two weeks ago, when 140 sites (75 percent) were not working in Calcasieu Parish and 20 (69 percent) were out in Cameron Parish.

In Texas, just three counties (Jasper, Newton and Orange) are now reporting problems to DIRS. Of the total 228 cell sites served, all were working yesterday. That contrasts with two weeks ago, when, of the 17,621 cell sites in the impacted areas of the state, 113 were non-operational.

Cable and wireline numbers have improved too. Providers reported 124,509 subscribers out of service in the affected areas that may include the loss of telephone, television, and/or internet services. Two weeks ago, the companies reported 192,915 subscribers out of service in the affected areas.

More broadcasters are returning to air as well. One television station, 14 FMs and two AMs reported being off-air yesterday.

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