Verizon customers in West Manchester Township upset after construction workers accidentally cut cables

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Hundreds of Verizon customers in West Manchester Township may be without a landline and internet for the next few days.

“I’m very unhappy about that,” said Evelyn Szala.

After a Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania construction crew working on a gas line that will be servicing the new UPMC Pinnacle Memorial Hospital building on Loucks Road hit some underground Verizon cables, customers like Evelyn Szala are being told their landline phones will not be back up until next week.

Szala says when she called Verizon, they didn’t have an answer to why her lines were down.

She says her husband suffers from various medical issues and she doesn`t know what she would do in the case of an emergency.

“I have an elderly husband here, I have a lot to deal with and need that service,” said Evelyn Szala, of West Manchester Township.

“If he would have an accident like hit his head or something like that I would need a way to call 911,” she added.

A Verizon Spokesman issued a statement saying  in part quote —

Thursday afternoon we became aware of damage to two underground cables that had been hit by construction crews (non-Verizon) performing work in the area. Service is being restored in a rolling fashion as we splice entire new sections into the cables – a tedious and labor intensive process requiring each of the 5,100 wire pairs to be accurately reconnected by hand. We very much appreciate customers` patience and understanding as we repair the damage.” – Verizon 

FOX43 reached out to UPMC Memorial Hospital for comment and was told that the construction crew directly working on building the new UPMC Memorial Hospital was not at fault, adding that Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, who was setting up gas lines along the property was at fault.

FOX43 also reached out to Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania for comment. They told FOX43 the gas main that they were working on replacing, is one which will serve the new UPMC Memorial  Hospital, along with other natural gas customers directly in that area.

They also issued a statement saying in part quote —

“During construction work to replace natural gas lines, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania’s contractor struck underground unmarked Verizon cables last Thursday. Following proper procedure, Columbia Gas and its contractors had contacted PA One Call in advance to have all underground utilities marked by their facility owners in the vicinity of the construction project.” — Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania.  

Alexis Ruger, manager at Wings To Go on Kenneth Road says having the lines down for this long has already impacted business.

“We usually take pre-orders and the phones have been down since Thursday, so it did affect it a lot,” said Ruger.

Especially with Super Bowl Sunday, one of their busiest days of the year.

“We had to get two new numbers and we were only able to post it on Facebook,” she added.

Ruger says while they are angry at the situation, they’re doing everything they can to keep customers satisfied.

“We are doing our best, I mean accidents happen,” she said.

According to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the complete restoration of services is expected by midweek.