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Cable One Confirms Employees In Joplin, Mo., Are Safe

Cable One said all of its employees in Joplin, Mo., have been accounted for as of Monday morning after a powerful tornado tore through the town Sunday evening and killed at least 89 people.

"Our main concern was our associates," Cable One spokeswoman Melany Stroupe said.

The town of Joplin, located in the southwestern corner of Missouri, is currently "pretty much without power and water," she said, adding that Cable One is still assessing the situation.

"A lot of our fiber is down, we have poles down," Stroupe said. "It's complete devastation."

The cable company serves about 15,000 subscribers in Joplin. Cable One also provides service to nearby Vinita and Miami, Okla., which are served by a fiber connection from Joplin.

The power utility in Joplin, Mo., is the Empire District Electric Co. In a statement on its website Monday, the company said its electrical system "has sustained severe damage due to the devastating tornado that tore through Joplin yesterday. We continue to make assessments to our system, but both Empire crews and contractor crews are making repairs. This will be a multiday event so we encourage customers to make necessary arrangements."

Cable One has dispatched repair crews from other locations to Joplin. "It's a very hazardous area right now," Stroupe said. "We don't know which areas we can safely go into at this point."

Cable One, the tenth-biggest cable operator in the U.S., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Washington Post Co. The Phoenix-based MSO serves approximately 720,000 customers in 19 states with cable TV, telephone and high-speed Internet service.

For more on how cable operators prepare for and respond to disasters, see the cover story in this week's edition of Multichannel News.