Berks County first responders struggle with communication in the wake of Sandy
Updated On: Nov 02 2012 11:12:12 AM CDT
The aftermath of Sandy has some first responders in Berks County on edge.
Smoke from a faulty heating and air conditioning unit caused an evacuation at Cabela's near Hamburg early Thursday morning. For some firefighters, a vital tool was not working: their cell phones.
"I worry that we're going to miss something. We're not going to get all the information that we need," said Chief Troy Hatt, Hamburg Fire Co.
Since Hurricane Sandy, firefighters at the Hamburg Fire Company, including the chief, have been struggling with on-and-off cell phone service. Some text messages are being received even hours after they were sent.
Hatt said he is concerned for residents.
"Hopefully, the emergency service on their phone will actually work, but if not, how are they even going to call for help," said Hatt.
Federal regulators said about 20 percent of cell phone towers all the way from Massachusetts down to Virginia are currently without power, and they also said it could be getting worse in some areas.
Dennis Groff said he desperately needs cell phone coverage to check up on his mother, who suffers from dementia.
"When the phone ain't working, you can't reach people you need to," said Groff.
For Kerri Gasbarri, who delivers pizzas, she said just completing her job now has an added level of frustration.
"I can't make outgoing calls. And I'll have service, it will say I have full service, and then all of a sudden it will just drop," said Gasbarri.
As crews up and down the East Coast race to restore power to cell phone towers, folks in Berks County said they will be on alert.
Copyright 2012 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Driver killed when car hits tree on Route 10 in Berks
Man killed when hit by minivan near airport
5-alarm fire at motel in Muhlenberg; wind hampering efforts
Man killed, woman seriously injured in motorcycle crash
Reading police officer charged in theft of money evidence
Police seek to interview man in investigation of woman's death
Life Lessons: 8 foods to buy now
MH370 search: Officials not 'excited' over new object
Drug cartel actions in Mexico force local grocers to increase lime prices
More tests needed on body of woman found in rural Berks