IOWA DERECHO 2020

Hundreds of ImOn, Mediacom customers without service more than five weeks after derecho

'Progress is slower' as companies focus on smaller repairs

A lineman works at restoring power in an alley behind B Avenue NE in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Aug. 19
A lineman works at restoring power in an alley behind B Avenue NE in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. People are still cleaning up and without power since the Aug. 10 derecho storm. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

About 700 ImOn customers and “definitely hundreds” of Mediacom customers are without internet or landline service more than four weeks after the Aug. 10 derecho, spokeswomen from the companies told The Gazette.

ImOn spokeswoman Lisa Rhatigan said the 700 or so customers still without service represent about 4 percent of its customer base in Cedar Rapids, Marion and Hiawatha.

Mediacom spokeswoman Phyllis Peters said she could not accurately give an exact number of how many people in Cedar Rapids are out of service, but it represents less than 2 percent of customers.

Rhatigan said some of the outages are from ImOn’s work to replace temporary infrastructure with permanent solutions.

She also said restoration numbers are moving more gradually as ImOn goes from making major repairs that restore service for dozens or hundreds to minor repairs that restore service for a couple customers at a time.

“It’s more onesies and twosies, so the progress is slower,” Rhatigan said. “It doesn’t mean the work is any slower. We’re working just as fast and just as hard. The results are just slower.”

Peters, citing similar challenges as repairs affect fewer customers at a time, anticipates less than 1 percent of customers will be without service next week. More workers are coming in from outside the area Thursday, Peters said.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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