Telecom Damage Tops $400 Million

Telecom Damage Tops $400 Million BellSouth Says Repairs May Take Months

By Arshad Mohammed Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 6, 2005; D06

Telephone company BellSouth Corp. yesterday estimated that it would cost $400 million to $600 million to repair the damage from Hurricane Katrina and said it could take four to six months to restore service in the hardest-hit areas of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

The Atlanta-based company, the dominant phone service provider in much of the South, stressed that those were preliminary estimates. It has not yet been able to survey all of its sites given the breadth of the area struck by the hurricane a week ago.

BellSouth said an estimated 1.1 million of its lines were out in the region, with 90 percent of these in what it calls the "red zone" -- New Orleans, areas north of the city and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

That is down from 1.75 million lines that were out late last week.

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