Cable's Hurricane Hit Unclear

The extent of hurricane damage to Louisiana and Alabama cable systems is not clear, operators in Florida have largely recovered from outages caused over the weekend.

Comcast – which dominates South Florida – says that as Hurricane Katrina travelled through South Florida, winds knocked out service to nearly 250,000 cable customers. But 70-80% of that was related to power outages of either homes or key cable facilities. When local utility crews restored electricity to a neighborhood, crews of Comcast techs and contractors were able to reconnect thousands of “drops” from poles to homes. Its operations should be fully restored by the end of the week.

Cox is the dominant cable operator in Louisiana. The company evacuated all of its top management to a Cox system in Baton Rouge and as of late Monday the company was being told they might not be readmitted to its New Orleans offices until Wednesday to even begin assessing the damage.

Televisions were largely dark, but the company’s telephone system is wired for backup power, so subscribers are able to make local and 911 calls, but no long distance calls.