BellSouth Updates Impact of Hurricane Katrina

For what it's worth.


ATLANTA, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) announced the following update on the impacts of Hurricane Katrina on its operations:

- BellSouth currently has about 1.03 million lines impacted in Louisiana, representing 54.2% of the state's more than 1.9 million access lines.

Coastal Alabama/Mississippi
- BellSouth currently has about 438,000 lines impacted in Mississippi,
representing 39.8% of Mississippi's more than 1.1 million access lines.
- BellSouth currently has about 93,000 lines impacted in Alabama,
representing 5.5% of the state's more than 1.7 million access lines.

"Our restoration efforts are ongoing and we have made good progress," said Bill Smith, BellSouth Chief Technology Officer. "While our forces are actively restoring service in many parts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, we continue to experience difficulty accessing many areas most impacted by the storm. For example, access is difficult in flooded areas in New Orleans as well as coastal areas due to downed trees and bridge and road damage. We estimate that there are 750,000 customer lines in these most heavily-damaged areas. Also, strike teams are actively repairing facilities that will aid in the restoration of wireless services that are key to rescue efforts in the New Orleans area," he noted.

BellSouth is still assessing the full impact on the network and its
customers' operations, and as a result, it is too early to project the total magnitude of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. BellSouth is currently surveying those areas where it has access and has begun restoration work. The number of lines affected will continue to fluctuate until the area stabilizes and all surveys have completed.

BellSouth has about 13,000 employees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama -- and approximately 7,600 of these are in the hardest hit areas affected by the storm. To aid its employees, BellSouth has set up BellSouth "tent cities" in Baton Rouge, La. and Gulfport, Miss. These cities will provide BellSouth employees and their families with necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and employee assistance programs.

This information is accurate only as of the date and time indicated below and is likely to change as power is restored, flood waters recede and other developments occur. Although we will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide updated information on a regular basis, this information will not be updated in real-time.


- ferg