Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Almost five months after Sandy, there's still no dial tone for hundreds of people living in the Rockaways. The city councilman representing the area is warning the phone outage is a dangerous situation that must be fixed quickly.
More than four thousand people live in the Ocean Bay Apartments, and most of them have had no land line phone service, according to councilman Donovan Richards.
Richards said one elderly resident of the public housing complex waits for her niece to visit, so she can use the niece's cell phone to make important calls.
“So imagine this elderly lady has an emergency one day. Who can she call? How can she call?” Richards said.
Verizon is asking for patience, and says it will begin restoring service to much of the area by the end of the month. High-speed fiber optic cable will replace copper lines damaged by flooding.
Phone outages are not confined to the Rockaways. Sandy's floodwaters corroded copper cables in lower Manhattan, and many people there still have no service.
WNYC's outage map is crowdsourced and cannot be considered authoritative. WNYC reconfirms all outages weekly. To report a phone or internet outage to WNYC, email email@example.com, and put "outage" in the subject line.