Verizon's private and business FiOS customers felt the effects of Tuesday night's wicked storm well into Wednesday afternoon, spending most of the day without phone and Internet service.
Service is expected to be back to normal by 6 p.m., according to Lee Gierczynski, one of Verizon's media relations manager for the northeast region.
Gierczynski said the trouble started Tuesday night when a tree toppled over power lines outside the company's Hatboro office on Moreland Ave. The back-up generator kicked in immediately and maintained operations until it shut down at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. That shutdown disrupted service for customers throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties.
When the generator regained power later in the morning, it began recharging the office's bank of back-up batteries. One of those batteries began to overheat, forcing technicians to shut down power again at 11:15 a.m. to repair the faulty equipment.
"The power returned at 12:30 p.m.," Gierczynski told Patch at 2:30 p.m., "and FiOS began returning to our customers by 1 p.m. We expect service to be fully restored within the next couple hours."
The loss of FiOS service not only left residential customers without phone service for a bulk of the day, but also affected the 911 systems for Bucks and Montgomery counties. Residents have been advised to use their local municipality's direct number for emergencies until everything was back to normal.
Local businesses that use FiOS for credit card transactions also experienced network connectivity issues.