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Utility Woes | Windstream customers left without service for months following ice storm

Hundreds of people are still without the ability to make a phone call on a landline more than a...
Hundreds of people are still without the ability to make a phone call on a landline more than a month after those wicked storms we saw back in February. On Thursday, Wanda Goetting dialed her home phone number hopeful to hear a ring. Five minutes later, Goetting broke out a smile as her house phone rang for the first time in six weeks.
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 7:56 PM EDT
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CARTER COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Hundreds of people are still without the ability to make a phone call on a landline more than a month after those wicked storms we saw back in February.

On Thursday, Wanda Goetting dialed her home phone number hopeful to hear a ring. Five minutes later, Goetting broke out a smile as her house phone rang for the first time in six weeks.

She’s been without phone and internet service since the first ice storm hit in February.

“I had reached my limit with it. I can’t go through this crying, waiting, and frustration anymore. Not hearing from my children or grandchildren is the hardest part,” said Wanda Goetting, a Windstream customer.

With little cell service at the Goetting’s home, Wanda has had to jump in her car and drive to make a call relying on their landline in emergencies.

Goetting has made calls to Windstream countless times since February. Each time her restoration date is pushed back by several weeks.

“All these disappointments after they said ‘we’ll be there. It will be fixed,’” Goetting said. “March 5th, the 17th, the 27, the 31st, and finally April 9th. That would have been two months, and that’s the final straw that broke the camel’s back.”

WSAZ learned dozens of families filed complaints with the Kentucky Public Service Commission who oversees utilities across the state. More than 80 complaints filed regarded Windstream’s restoration efforts since February.

Currently, there are still 300 customers in Boyd and Carter Counties without phone or internet service. Jama Vasquez is another one.

“That phone line is completely down. [Windstream] replaced the mainline but haven’t connected it to any of the houses yet. They even sent us a full month’s bill,” Vasquez said.

Windstream told WSAZ that as a result of the ice storm crews continue to make repairs, but it’s not easy in such rural areas.

After weeks of frustration, Goetting reached out to WSAZ. Her landline restored within 48 hours, but intermittent service remains to be ongoing.

“We love our home, and we love this place. It’s beautiful, but we’re considering selling and moving closer to town or our children so that we don’t have to keep going through this,” Goetting said.

In the meantime, the Goettings have installed a dish to boost the internet signal, hoping it helps until things come back online.

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