Comcast says it can’t roll trucks in Houston

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With streets flooded and Harvey-drenched residents fleeing to shelters, Comcast Corp. doesn’t know when its trucks will be able to be used in the Houston area.

The cable giant has suspended its cable and internet repairs for the second day on Tuesday.

It could be days before it can make repairs as the water levels are not expected to crest until Thursday, a company official said.

Houston is one of Comcast’s larger cable markets with about 500,000 customers in the metro area. Comcast has not said how many subscribers lost service.

The nation’s largest cable-TV company says it is waiting for a green light from emergency management agencies to say whether the roads are safe for its tech trucks. If people have not suffered downed telephone poles, they could still be watching their cable or accessing the internet.

“We are in close contact with folks in Houston and we will support them,” company spokeswoman Jennifer Moyer said Tuesday.

Charter, the nation’s No. 2 cable company, also has substantial customers in the Houston area.

“Once clearance is granted [for trucks to travel on the Houston-area roads], Comcast’s maintenance technicians will be dispatched to begin assessment and restoration efforts throughout the greater Houston area including Galveston, Liberty, Brazoria, Harris, and Fort Bend Counties,” the company said in a statement, issued on Sunday.

As part of its response to the Hurricane Harvey, Comcast has opened 53,000 Xfinity WiFi hot spots to the public throughout the Houston area.

Moyer said the biggest problem with Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent tropical storm has been the flooding and not the winds.

Amy Yong, an analyst with Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc., noted that Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 led Cablevision to offer substantial credits to customers for lost service.

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