We’re planning a Thanksgiving dinner for Comcast crews visiting us from out of town, but only after a long day of following power crews and restoring services whenever possible.
At right you see a map of remaining damage to the electrical grid that was published by a journalist Wednesday night. The picture with its jagged lines provides a good idea of what has happened. Essentially, the storm dragged claws across the entire Comcast network, which is different than the electrical network. Each of these lines represents disruption to the Comcast network whether the homes around the line have electrical power or not.
Power crews estimate they will be conducting repairs for several more days, and of course we need power crews to finish their work in an area before we can go in. We estimate more than 450 sites need our attention, but we cannot enter many of them yet. We’re tackling many of those today, but in other areas, we’re waiting on the hardworking power company crews who say they are facing the worst storm damage ever in the history of the electrical grid in Spokane.
Power crews have to complete their repairs before Comcast crews can begin repairs on poles and lines and other parts of the network. That means a variety of areas throughout Spokane do not have their services. Please be assured we won’t rest until every customer has their XFINITY services up and running.
Here are updates and Frequently Asked Questions about the storm recovery:
Bremerton and Kitsap County: While most of this update is about Spokane, Kitsap County on the other side of the state had horrible weather Tuesday in places such as Bremerton. As power crews there work to restore power, we have extra crews working that area today as well. To monitor the work of the power company there, here is the link for Puget Sound Energy’s Twitter account.
Here are some common questions we are receiving:
When will service be restored to my neighborhood? We are often unable to provide a repair ETA because of the extensive damage to the network. This is because there are some areas that need repair that we cannot approach yet, even several days after the storm. This storm was one of the worst in recorded history in Spokane. We cannot enter areas until power crews have completed their restoration and made the area safe. It’s only then that we can see the full extent of damage and can make repairs. In addition, as power comes up throughout a region, crews move around.
Why is a Comcast site providing me with an ETA? Comcast seeks to provide an ETA in most repair situations, and computer and human systems here are designed to do that. But the Spokane storm is the worst Washington storm in memory. Those systems are not necessarily aware of the massive, individualized restoration efforts of the electrical companies here and changing conditions to the Comcast grid. The ETA-estimating system may also be unaware of neighborhood damage that Comcast crews can’t even see yet because they have not been cleared to enter an area by power companies. Power company and Comcast crews are working hard to provide you with service as soon as possible given unprecedented conditions. Bottom line: We won’t rest until service is restored to everyone.
Will my Comcast services return when my power returns? Almost always yes, but there could be a lag time for a couple of reasons. The good news is that much of the time, when your power comes up, your Xfinity products and services come back up. If you don’t see the services return, it’s good to perform a powercycle to “freshen up” the equipment.
However, it’s only when power is restored to an area that it’s considered safe for other crews to work on a pole. So when your power comes back up, that’s a sign that Comcast crews are now able to enter an area and begin any repairs that are needed to facilities serving your neighborhood.
My power has been on, but I have not had Comcast services. What should I do?
We filmed a short video, which follows, that helps explains what’s going on. Please scroll below the video to see more update information.
The bottom line is that on some occasions, you may have power at home, but not Comcast services. This is usually due to damage in the network around you. The damage that took out your electrical power may not be the damage that took out your Comcast services. The map above gives you an idea of what happens when the weather draws what amounts to a giant claw across our network.
The network of telecommunications companies relies on electricity to carry signal not just at your neighborhood, but throughout a city. Large numbers of transmissions facilities are damaged in Spokane. We are grateful for your patience. It is also possible that there is damage to the system at your home or in a neighborhood pocket. If you have had power for some time and want to report any issues with Comcast services, contact us.
Comcast crews are working hard today and will be working hard through the weekend and perhaps beyond to restore service as quickly as they can and as safely as they can. We want services restored to each and every Comcast customer.
For a focus on what’s going on in the Spokane area as seen on Twitter, click here to see the results for hashtag #Inlandwind.