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Saturday morning a contractor for the city of Redmond WA was digging up the old storm water pipes so they can replace them and was told that all the old telephone cables in the area were abandoned so he just dug them all up and hauled 4 dump truck loads off. He was loading the 5th truck when our first responder to a major outtage arrived on site. He had cut about 300 feet of 9 each 1500 pair cables and 4 large multy strand fiber optic cables. The whole city was dead, all cell sites, business's, internet, and 911. Over 10,000 lines or T-1 circuits. This is a huge Microsoft town with 1000's of support businesses. Plus all the Fios TV was on the fiber optics so everyone missed the Seahawk's game and all the Bars could not do credit card charges. $$,$$$ in losses. I bet when its all done and tabulated, its close to $1,000,000 in damages and loss of revenue.

We have had crews working 12 hour shifts trying to run in new cables and my crew id restoring customers as our splicers get the new cables cut over. About a 16 hour per day for the next 2 weeks. Sure the money is good but the hours are killing me. I will post when I can on brakes or when I get home late. Up at 4 am and home after 9 PM.
 

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Woah, best of luck with those hours. You're doing God's work when you restore telecom lines. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That thing called "Internet" will never catch on. Just a passing fad. :)

I was installing "ARPANET" back in 1980 - 1984.
 

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Bummer that you and others have to fix the damage, but at least you will get a good paycheck - overtime?

Big Microsoft town, maybe he works for Apple??? In that case - go man go!
 

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Good luck with all the repairs!

I recall 5 or 6 years ago when a backhoe severed a fibre-optic trunk line in PA, and most of Central PA went "dark" for about 8 hours.
 

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A contractor cut our main optic lines back some years ago. Took about a week to get things back to normal here (we are a small town of 60K people compared to what you have out there Dave). It did take our university out though. They were not happy campers without computer and telephone service. Needless to say that after every thing got settled money wise, that contractor was no longer in business. Good luck on the repairs, sounds as if you are going to need all the luck you can get.

Why do people ignore all those "Call before you dig." signs?

Doug (out in Kentucky)
 

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Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation!

"Okay mister manager, we're digging up the drain pipes, but all those telecom lines are slowing us down. Man, I can't believe how many there are. Must be truckloads of them!"

"Oh, you can just rip them all out as you go."

"Rip them all out? Did you check?"

"Is there an echo in here?" :rolleyes:
 

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As a retired telephone repairman I can certainly understand your situation. And I would like to say that since I retired a little over 3 years ago I never once found myself wishing that I was standing in a muddy pit in the cold rain digging out a cut cable that some idiot with a backhoe cut because he was too lazy to call for locates before he dug.

It was a pretty good job most of the time or I would not have stayed there as long as I did. And the Good Times outweighed the Bad Times by quite a bit. But still, I would rather be riding my Burgman that I would be splicing telephone cable. Funny how that is, huh? ;)
 

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If the contractor was told that all the old phone lines in the area were abandoned
& not in use....that's all he had to go on.
I can remember a job, working on a sewer line in Waco, the backhoe operator
was told by a city inspector..sitting on the job, watching, that all the freshwater
lines were on the other side of the street.
On the 3rd scoop of the backhoe, we opened-up a 12 inch freshwater line,
just 2 blocks from a water-tower. About 1 square mile of the city was
without water for most of the day. Took the city guys over an hour to get
the water-tower valves shut off.
The city inspectors comment was how'd that happen...????????
2 schools closed, because they were without water, & sent the kids home,
where they also were without water....duh.
 

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My dad called the gas company, telephone and electric before he dug in a local town. They all came out and marked their lines and left. He started digging and pronto ran into the gas line. It was marked on the other side of a three lane street! Too many instances such as this and now Ohio says if the mark is more then 3ft off the utility is responsible. I sold my digging equipment after hitting two gas lines improperly marked.

My mother always said "where there is twice there is thrice." I figured I could be innocent and legal but still be legally dead.
 

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Yikes! Sounds like a real nightmare, and the "powers that be" probably keep turning up the wick on you, so no pressure at all!
Is the Elijah Craig still in the 'fridge, you may want some before it's over.
Take care, I hope the fix goes smooth!
 

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best story I hear about a digging crew cutting a fiber optic cable was few years ago in Northern Virginia.

Acccording to Aaron Georgelas, whose company, the Georgelas Group, was developing the Greensboro Corporate Center on Spring Hill Road near Tyson Corner:

A crew had just cut an unmarked and no show on any map/plan optic fiber line. While everybody was scratching their head,
"Within moments, three black sport-utility vehicles drove up, a half-dozen men in suits jumped out and one said, "You just hit our line." "The construction manager was shocked,... He had never seen a line get cut and people show up within seconds. Usually you've got to figure out whose line it is. To garner that kind of response that quickly was amazing."

"Whose line, you may ask? The guys in suits didn't say ... But Georgelas assumed that he was dealing with the federal government and that the cable in question was "black" wire -- a secure communications line used for some of the nation's most secretive intelligence-gathering operations.

"Georgelas figured that the government was involved when an AT&T crew arrived the same day to fix the line, rather than waiting days."

His company never saw the charge ( about 300 000$)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/30/AR2009053002114.html?sid=ST2009053100019
 

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I heard (from a construction foreman, accompanied by much foul language) that about one thing in three is not buried where the plans say it should be! (My uncle's water line is almost 15' off!)
 

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Hang in there Dave. I sure bet there's going to be a lot of finger pointing going on with that mess.
 
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