Verizon customers face weeks without service

Nearly 12,000 phone lines in Candia, Deerfield, Epping and Northfield are impaired, and 6,000 others in the greater Raymond area are completely out of service following the torrential rainstorm that hit the Northeast on Monday, knocking out Verizon’s central switching center in Raymond.

Customers with the 603-895 area code and telephone prefix could be without land-based telephone service “for sometime, possibly for the next several weeks,” according to a statement released today by Verizon.

According to the statement, customers in the 483, 463, 679 and 924 prefix areas will be unable to make long distance calls or receive calls from outside their telephone exchange area. They will, however, be able to make 9-1-1 calls and calls within their own telephone exchanges.

Flooding of the Lamprey River sent five feet of water into Verizon’s Floral Avenue office in Raymond Monday destroying the company’s switching equipment.

Verizon is coordinating services with other providers and working closely with local and state emergency services organizations and plans to bring in additional wireless services.

Reports of the mass outage came as Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications, announces the addition of two cell locations along the New Hampshire-Vermont border extending coverage in the Charlestown and Plainfield areas.

The expansion is part of the “company’s aggressive multi-billion dollar network investment to stay ahead of growing demand,” according to a statement released Tuesday by Verizon officials. – TRACIE STONE

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