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Tornados wreak havoc on Cobridge's Arkansas, Alabama systems

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

Tornados earlier this week damaged Cobridge Communications' cable systems in Arkansas and Alabama, as well as impacted the electrical grids that power the company's operations.

The tornados primarily hit operations in Alabama, where service was interrupted in the following communities: Baileyton area, 600 subscribers; Rainsville area, 525; Henager area, 770; and Haleyville/Double Springs area, 810.

Cobridge spokesman Hank Belz said this morning that services in Vilonia, Ark., were down to the company's 125 subscribers as 90 homes there were destroyed. Services to 90 customers in Beebe, Ark., were also interrupted.

Damage includes downed transport poles, as well as damage to cable and fiber lines and network equipment.

Belz said services were still down in the impacted systems as of this morning, and that Cobridge has to wait until the electrical companies restore power before it can start fixing equipment and lines in some areas.

Cobridge won't have a full assessment of the damage caused by the tornados until sometime on Sunday, but Belz said none of the company's employees were injured during the storms.

Last year, Cobridge bought 36 systems in seven states from Charter Communications. Cobridge sold two of those systems to Knology earlier this year.

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