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Summary of Houston problems (was Re: Houston problems?)

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Tue Jun 12 07:00:03 2001

On Mon, 11 June 2001, Jason Legate wrote:
> I am getting word that the Qwest Houston TeraPOP is down, due to flooding.
> Is this true, and does anyone know of anything else from down there?

Twenty people known dead, 15,000 people relocated to emergency shelters.

An estimated 3 feet (36 inches, 91cm) of rain fell in city.  Damage
estimates exceed $1 billion.

Eight hospitals lost all or partial services.  The Texas Medical Center
estimates water levels were 5 feet above the 100-year flood stage at the
center.  Electric switchboards in the lower levels were damaged.  Flood
map elevations had not been updated in several decades, and the elevations
in the area are actually several feet below that indicated on the flood maps.

30,000 research animals at Baylor College of Medicine died in the flooding.
105 buildings on the main campus of the University of Houston were damaged.

Reliant cut power to 60 downtown office buildings after learning equipment
in their basements may have been flooded.  Most power outages in the Houston
area were caused by lightning strikes.

Southewestern Bell Telephone Houston Fairbanks, Houston Airline and
East Houston central offices isolated.  Houston 9-1-1 service affected,
over 20 different PSAP's were impacted.

Multiple offices were on emergency backup power, most power has been
restored.  Over 100,000 subscriber lines impacted, 20,000 lines still
down.  The East Houston central office is still under 5 feet of water.
Southwestern Bell is using helicopters to ferry recovery teams to and
from the office.

AT&T reported 150,000+ subscribers were impacted due to power problems,
including toll, operator services, international and wireless.  Power
equipment in the basement was flooded.  All AT&T service was reported
restored by Monday.

NOTE: Only AT&T and SBC has filed FCC outage reports so far.  If other
carriers are affected, they aren't telling the FCC.

Sprint Wireless Houston office was flooded affecting Sprint PCS service.
Sprint Wireless estimates partial service will be restored on Tuesday,
with no ETR for complete service restoration.

Cingular Wireless lost their service to their primary long-distance carrier,
and has been using a backup carrier.  However, they don't have as many
trunks with the backup carrier, impacting service.

QWEST's Houston POP is reported flooded and out of service.

Two Shell Plaza (777 Walker) basement flooded, damaged electrical and
generators.  As one of the "carrier hotels" in Houston, several different
providers are likely affected.

PULSE EFT Network, the regional ATM/Cash machine network lost their primary
and secondary power at the Houston data center.  This affected approximately
175,000 ATM machines and 300,000 point of sale machines.  Pulse is moving to
a backup data center in Dallas, but does not expect to be in service until
noon on Tuesday.  PULSE spokesperson said until yesterday they had a nearly
100% perfect dependibility record.  This was the worst outage in 20 years.

The Houston Federal Reserve Bank is operating on backup generators.

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