Tornado recovery: Some in affected areas still without Internet, basic services

Published: Monday, July 01, 2019 @ 6:59 PM

Some in tornado affected areas still without Internet

Some families in the Perry Twp. area of Montgomery County who escaped the direct hit of the EF-4 tornado that touched down on Memorial Day continue to deal with other frustrating effects of the natural disaster -- the loss of basic services such as telephone and cable.

>> More federal funds coming for tornado relief, Portman says

"The big lasting thing is that I haven't had Internet service for 35 days," Douglass Aytes Sr. told News Center 7's Sean Cudahy on Monday. "They've billed me for last month, even though I had no service!" 

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Aytes runs a waterproofing business out of his home and without Internet service has not been able to get warranties, price quotes and other critical information to his customers in a timely fashion. 

Aytes said he has resorted to texting customers -- with attached documents -- until his Internet service returns. 

"It's horribly frustrating," he said. 

The "they" he refers to is Frontier Communications, whose officials late Monday afternoon said five miles of its infrastructure was damaged, the brunt of it west of Diamond Mill Road, in the Memorial Day tornado outbreak. 

The EF-4, carrying winds that reached 170 mph, touched down west of Brookville, continued through Trotwood to Dayton and to Riverside, according to National Weather Service investigators in Wilmington. The twister was on the ground about 30 minutes and covered at least 20 miles. 

>> 15 Memorial Day tornadoes confirmed

Officials with Frontier said they have been working diligently to get Internet service restored, but there may be customers still out. 

Company officials said they are estimating it will be mid-July before all poles and cable lines are replaced. 

Aytes said he just wants to see repair trucks from Frontier Communications in his neck of the woods. He said he has seen their trucks elsewhere. 

"I'd like to see a truck drive down the road... since they're still trying to get money out of me," he said.