Verizon provides update to cell service restoration in the Panhandle

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The work continues in Florida and Georgia to repair damaged fiber. Progress today resulted in four more cell sites on air.

A critical site in Mexico Beach is now providing coverage for residents who remained and first responders in that community. Two additional sites are up east of Panama City covering the area north of Alford and I-10 area, the town of Wausau and the Washington County EOC. A tower covering an area north of Panama City where Highway 231 and US 98 meet is also back on air using repaired fiber.

Additionally, a manned aerial vehicle carried a flying cell site earlier today over Mexico Beach to provide coverage from above. With restoration of cell service there, we will have the ability to move the aerial vehicle to other impacted communities tomorrow.

We continued deployment of additional portable cell sites to Bay County Sheriff’s office, the Washington EOC in Chipley, and TECO Peoples Gas, bringing the total deployed portable cell sites to 14 throughout the impacted area.

Community Support

To support first responders, our Big Red Command Trailer with multiple workstations and satellite connectivity remains up and supporting the Bay County EOC. Another Tactical Command Trailer remains onsite to support the Panama City Beach Police Department. Two Gooseneck trailers, equipped with connectivity, 5 mobile workstations and an inflatable shelter are in the area as well – one with the Salvation Army and one with the Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center.

Throughout today we had a Wireless Emergency Communications Center set up at the American Red Cross shelter at Marianna High School, located at 3546 Caverns Rd. in Marianna, which was open from 9am-6pm and has service from a portable cell site that works with satellite connections.

Similarly, again today, we had our Wireless Emergency Communications Center set up at our Panama City store, located at 411A E 23rd St, which was open from 10am-5pm and has service from a portable cell site that works with satellite connections.

The WECCs will be open again tomorrow, so if you need to charge your device or connect with friends, loved ones or resources, we invite you to stop by one of those locations.

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