Throughout Virginia, 25 emergency 911 call centers — more than previously disclosed — lost critical services during the June 29 storm as a result of “failures and deficiencies” at Verizon, according to state regulators.
Outages in Northern Virginia alone affected 2.3 million people.
The report by the Virginia State Corporation Commission concedes that the storm, classified as a derecho, was severe. But the report, released Friday, says Verizon’s system was engineered and built to withstand such a storm and should have held up if the company’s maintenance and testing procedures had been followed beforehand and the utility had mounted a faster response.
The maintenance shortcomings raise concerns that the problems may be systemwide, according to regulators. Verizon was the only carrier in Virginia that had “significant 911 service problems,” the report says.
In August, Verizon said it had begun a systemwide review, and on Friday, Anthony Lewis, vice president for Verizon’s Mid-Atlantic region, said the company is ”diligently pursuing” the process.