Copper theft causes Frontier outages

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 1:12 PM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Frontier customers are without services due to copper theft.

According to Hurricane Mayor Scott Edwards, about $5,000 worth of copper was stolen in a lot near Fruth Pharmacy in Hurricane.

“There was a large portion of the large cable that runs across the poles (that) were stolen, we believe on Sunday evening," Edwards said.

WSAZ reached out to Frontier for comment and to see exactly how many people were affected by the theft, but we have not heard back yet. However, Edwards says 2,100 pairs of wire were stolen. For a perspective, City Hall may have around 10 pairs of wire and most homes have one. Therefore, more than 1,500 people could have been affected by the outage.

Businesses and public offices, including City Hall and the Post Office, were among those affected:

“We’ve had to forward the main city hall phone numbers over to cell phones in order to take calls,” Edwards told WSAZ. “There’s nothing else we could do; there were no phone lines available.”

Kyle Smith, who lives in Hurricane and has Frontier internet, said his two daughters weren’t able to do their school work during the last few days because of the outage.

“They’re virtual, you have to have internet to be able to do homeschooling, especially with COVID going on,” Smith said.

On top of that, Edwards said many people in the town still have landlines, which is worrisome in the event of an emergency.

“There’s a tremendous amount, especially older folks. That’s what they use, so now they can’t dial 911. So, if they’re having a medical emergency, can’t (call 911), if they’re in trouble, someone breaking in, they can’t call.”

Hurricane Police said no arrests have been made, but they ask if you see any suspicious activity around utility poles or have any information, to give them a call.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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