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Sanford, Michigan restoration updates

Update for 7/1, 11:38 p.m. ET:

All TDS customers in the Sanford area are back up and running with communication services. Customers in the final network area, Nine Mile, were reconnected as of 4 p.m. ET yesterday. The only work still underway is the clean-up of our pole barn location which will be completed by July 10.

Sanford customers should receive their bills today that includes one-month’s service credit.

We are pleased to say this is our final update. Thanks again to the entire Sanford community for your support and patience! We couldn’t be prouder to be part of this community.

 

Update for 6/29, 3:35 p.m. ET:

Later today we expect to turn on the Nine Mile equipment site and complete final testing. Tomorrow, the first customers will be reconnected in this network area. Restoration work will continue in batches and wrap up on Wednesday.

 

Update for 6/26, 2:55 p.m. ET:

Technicians are continuing to work on individual customer troubles as they are reported. If, according to the map below, your services should be restored and you’re still experiencing difficulties, please call 1-888-225-5837 to open a service ticket.

The final segments of fiber cable are expected to reach the Nine Mile network hub (serving the area in red on the map) site on Monday. When that work is complete, fiber splicing will begin. Assuming there aren’t any unexpected delays, service restoration will begin on Wednesday of next week.

 

Update for 6/24, 3:45 p.m. ET:

Restoration of the network area that includes the village of Sanford is now complete. All customers in this area are back up and connected to both internet and phone service. We have updated the restoration map below to reflect this progress.

Work is continuing in the Nine Mile network area. Two fiber boring crews are still on site. We remain confident restoration will happen the week of the 29th.

Residents will also soon see new activity at the property that held our pole barn. We’re working with contractors to finalize post-flood clean-up of this location which should be complete next week.

We will have our next update on Friday.

Update for 6/23, 12:55 p.m. ET:

We have excellent news to share today. Services are beginning to come back up for customers living in the old hub site network area (yellow on the most recent restoration map below). Last evening the first customers were reconnected to voice and data, and that effort will continue today.

The fiber boring to the Nine Mile network area site is continuing with two crews. Those teams have approximately a mile of cable left to place. Final pieces of equipment are also arriving for installation at the network node. Work is progressing on schedule for restoration next week.

Update for 6/22, 3:50 p.m. ET:

Our crews made tremendous progress at the end of last week and over the weekend. The new equipment at the old hub site is now connected to the TDS network and technicians are working to finalize the programming today. We expect to start connecting customers to services in this network area (indicated in yellow on the most-recent map below) as early as tomorrow morning.

Teams also continued their progress to lay fiber to the final network area (indicated in red in the most recent map) as quickly as possible. We anticipate that this work will be complete by Saturday so we can begin to connect and program the equipment. As of today, restoration in this final is on schedule for the June 29.

 

Update for 6/19, 1:30 p.m. ET:

The new node cabinet at the former hub site is ready and contractors have approximately 80% of the equipment in place. After installation is complete, cabling and equipment programming will begin. We remain confident service will be up and running in this area next week.

For the second network area, Nine Mile, we have two crews boring fiber-optic cable and also completing cable repairs. New equipment is arriving and will be installed next week. Based on current progress, we expect this area will be restored the week of June 29.

Thank you for your continued patience!

 

Update for 6/18, 3:39 p.m. ET:

The concrete pad and cabinet are in place for the new network node at the old central hub site location. Commercial power is now connected and contractors will be on site for the next few days to install the TDS equipment. As all appears to be unfolding on schedule, we still expect to begin turning up service in this network area (in yellow on the map below) starting next week.

Our efforts to lay nearly five miles of fiber-optic cable to the Nine Mile network node location (in red on the map below) is also continuing. Our goal is replace the older and flood-damaged copper cable with new fiber cable which, paired with new equipment also being installed, will offer more reliable service and faster speeds. That work, however, is taking longer than expected. As a result, we now believe service restorations in this final area will not begin until the week of June 29.

 

Update for 6/16, 6:24 p.m. ET:

This week, work continues to progress on the new network node site in Sanford to get electrical, equipment, and fiber installed and ready. Our teams are also working on remaining trouble reports from customers living in the restored network areas. We anticipate that our next update will be on Friday.

Update for 6/15, 2:29 p.m.

We are pleased to report that on Friday evening services were reconnected ahead of schedule to the North Hope and Sunset Shores areas. TDS service has now been restored to eight out of 10 network areas.

Progress continues at the former central hub site which will serve as the network node for the two remaining serving areas. We are coordinating with the power company to get the electric meter installed. Electricians will need to complete the remaining connections before the TDS team can finalize work on our equipment. We are also making headway on placing fiber to that site. Directional boring is on schedule and aerial work is also progressing.

If you live in area that has been restored but are still experiencing service difficulties, please call 1-888-225-5837 to speak with a representative.

Update for 6/12, 5:06 p.m.:

The last 24 hours have brought lots of great progress. We are pleased to report communications services have been restored to the majority of TDS customers.

All services are back up in six of the 10 service areas. Two other areas—North Hope and Sunset Shores—we expect to be back up by the end of the day Tuesday, June 16. Please note, because of network area boundaries, customers living in the same area, neighborhood, or street may experience a different restoration times.

The two areas not yet in service are those most impacted by flood damage to our equipment. As shared previously, we are creating a new network node to serve these customers on our former network hub property. The underground tank was collapsed and removed yesterday, and as a result we were able to relocate some of the key fiber cable. However, a number of other pieces still need to fall into place before this site will be operational. Based on the best information we have to today, we expect these remaining customers will be back up with services the week of June 22.

Thank you again to the entire Sanford area community. We know this has been a challenging situation, and we will stay on the ground and working until every customer is reconnected.

 

Update for 6/11, 3:13 p.m. ET:

TDS service restoration hit a major landmark late yesterday—88 customers are now back up with internet service. With those initial customers up and running, our teams are working to connect additional customers and get voice services operational. Restorations of nodes not impacted by the floods will continue gradually.

Yesterday there was an unexpected hiccup when a power transformer near the new hub site caught fire, causing commercial power to go down until it was repaired. No one was injured and the backup batteries and generators worked as expected to power the equipment.

The building that housed the original hub site is a total loss and will no longer be used. Elsewhere on that property, a network node is being built to serve customers close to this location. We are awaiting the appropriate equipment cabinet and commercial power for this rework. The fiber reroute in this location was hampered yesterday by the discovery of an existing underground tank. Contractors are on site today to remove the tank and backfill so we can complete the fiber move. Once we are further along in the build of this node, will share a timeline for this area’s restoration.

 

Update for 6/9, 11:05 a.m. ET:

Inside the new network hub, the main controller unit and switching equipment is being powered up and connected. The backup generator is also on site and in place. Relative to the network re-route, we expect to complete two more main fiber line splices today, finalizing the hub site’s network connectivity.

With all of these pieces in place, we expect to begin getting customers up and running with internet and phone in the next 3-5 days. Restoration will not occur all at once. Services will come up gradually as connections and provisioning are completed in batches. Customers within the flood zone will take additional time and may be restored on a piecemeal basis.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding.

 

Update for 6/8, 2:48 p.m. ET:

A quick update today about our weekend progress. The upgraded power connection to the new network hub site is now complete and the HVAC systems are operational. All needed network equipment has arrived and has been installed. Today, our teams are focused on splicing the fiber as part of the network backbone reroute. Tomorrow we’ll be able to offer a more definitive service restoration timeline.

 

Update for 6/5, 4:41 p.m. ET:

As we wrap up this week’s restoration efforts we want to assure customers that work will continue on the new network hub site over the weekend. What has been accomplished may not be entirely obvious to the naked eye, but the amount of progress we’ve made truly is tremendous. As more pieces continue to fall into place and once we have passed a few more technical hurdles, we expect to have a restoration timeline to share by next Tuesday. Again, credits for the time out of service will appear on July billing statements. Thank you, and have a safe weekend.

 

Update for 6/4, 1:52 p.m. ET:

We’re making great progress on the relocated temporary hub site. The two HVAC units have been installed (the photo below, was taken earlier this week) and the needed switching equipment is being mounted on racks. We are still awaiting the 200-amp service connection to power the equipment. Our teams also continue the work to repair, reroute, and splice the network cable.

Please know that, although you may not see any activity at the former central hub site, we are diligently working to get services back up and running. Although we are not sharing the location of the new hub site for safety and security reasons, we have been a part of the Sanford area for 34 years. We live and work in the community and remain dedicated to delivering great communications services to you, our customers.

As we are nearing completion of the physical space, we are working on a plan and timeline to turn up services. Although we wish it was as simple as plugging the equipment, service restoration is dependent on a variety of other elements we are coordinating. We hope to share more information about our timeline next week, but our goal remains to get everyone reconnected as quickly as we possibly can.

Thank you for your continued patience.

 

Update for 6/2 2:36 p.m. ET:

Today marks two weeks since the Edenville and Sanford Dam failures. We understand customers are anxious to be reconnected to TDS services and we working as quickly as possible to make that happen.

Our original central network hub, which delivered internet and phone service to customers both in and out of the flood zone, has been determined to be a total loss. Professional remediation of leaking battery acid and proper disposal of all equipment is now complete. The flood-damaged vehicle on site will be removed this week and the building will be boarded up for safety. However, our primary focus has been, and continues to be, engineering and standing up a new hub site to restore service.

Retrofit work on an existing TDS building to house the new central hub equipment is proceeding. The racks to house the replacement switching equipment are being installed this week. One of two HVAC units to cool the equipment has been put in place and a second is in progress. Replacement electronic components continue to arrive. We are working with the power company and contractors to increase the building’s connection amperage as the original wiring was not designed to handle a hub site’s service load.

With the network redesign, the site of the former central hub property will become a network node. The equipment cabinet and appropriate replacement electronics have been ordered and the final components should arrive by the end of this week.

Before any restoration is possible, any cable damage from the flood waters must be repaired, and the cable infrastructure must be rerouted. Two teams began this work early last week and will remain in the field until the network is back up and running.

We are working on a plan to provide credits on July billing statements.

We would like to thank the community, again, for their patience in the face of this challenging situation. Please know that we doing everything we can to set up a new hub site and reconnect customers as quickly as possible. We expect our next update will be on Thursday.

 

Update for 5/29 12:47 p.m. ET:
Today and tomorrow, work will continue on the temporary equipment hub site. The cement block wall on the building is being cut so the HVAC can be installed, electrical work is progressing, and switch equipment is being delivered in anticipation of site readiness. Additional TDS staff is arriving tomorrow to aid and continue the network assessment. We expect to provide our next update on Monday afternoon.

Update for 5/28 12:40 p.m. ET:
We are continuing to stand up the new temporary network hub. Needed equipment is arriving daily and we have begun assessing the fiber infrastructure for damage. Starting today, other teams will be cleaning out and cataloging the damage to our original central hub location. We would like to assure customers that we are reviewing billing adjustments for this time without services. We truly appreciate the positivity and community spirit demonstrated in the face of this very challenging situation. Thank you for your continued patience as we work to get services back up and running.

Update for 5/27 11:14 p.m. ET:
Relocating the central hub equipment is progressing well. This effort requires reworking a smaller existing site to safely house and maintain the racks of needed equipment. The new HVAC system has arrived and awaiting installation, contractors are working to upgrade the electrical connectivity, and our teams are re-engineering the network backbone to reach this location. We continue to work with local and federal authorities to speed restoration and follow guidelines for Sanford’s long-term recovery.

Update for 5/26 12:24 p.m. ET:
Work to restore service Sanford continues. Over the weekend we were able to assess our facilities across the Sanford network. While there is little to no damage in some equipment locations, the central hub equipment that feeds all sites is likely a total loss. We have identified an alternate site to temporarily relocate these central functions in order to restore service. However, this changeover will require a variety of power and equipment retrofits, including rerouting the network backbone. Our goal is to get this alternate site running and bring services back online as soon as possible. We are continuing to work with local authorities, contractors, and bring in additional TDS resources to make every effort to speed restoration.

Update 5/22/2020 10:45 a.m.:
Services in Sanford and the surrounding areas remain down. The central switching equipment that serves local customers is no longer underwater, but with key portions of the network destroyed, the restoration process will take time. The damage to the central office has made it extremely dangerous, and TDS must take all of the necessary safety precautions before entering. The Federal Government has declared an emergency in the area, which means the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be coordinating the relief efforts.

Update 5/21/2020 10:00 a.m.:
Services are still down for Sanford and the surrounding areas. The central switching equipment that serves local customers is still underwater. However, the water is receding quickly, and we expect to gain access to the site later today to begin assessing the damage. The restoration process will take time.

Update 5/20/2020 12:45 p.m.:
Services are still down for Sanford, Michigan and the surrounding areas. The central switching equipment that serves a wide radius of customers is in the flood zone and still underwater. Other equipment sites have also been impacted by the flood waters. We are working on a contingency plan to see how we can begin to restore dial tone as quickly as possible—however, we don’t expect water to recede or be given permission to access key locations for another four or five days. This will be a slow-moving restoration process.

Original post:
Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the Sanford Dam collapse. Although our local teams are safe and mobilized outside of the flood zone, TDS services are down as a result of this disaster. We are unable to assess damage due to the flooding and mandatory evacuation orders. Stay safe and watch for updates.

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19 Responses to Sanford, Michigan restoration updates

  1. Jill Carroll May 29, 2020 at 8:50 pm #

    We have no water damage. 879 W. Blakely Sanford Michigan 48657. I need internet please.

    • Missy Kellor June 1, 2020 at 1:05 pm #

      I understand, Jill. Although you were not impacted by the flood our equipment that serves you was. We are working hard to set up a new equipment site as quickly as possible to get everyone back up and running!

  2. Cameron June 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm #

    When is the estimated restoration date? It’s been 2 weeks now. It seems like TDS should be in a position to provide a date so families can plan accordingly.

    • Missy Kellor June 2, 2020 at 8:25 am #

      Hi Cameron. We will have an update later today on our progress standing up a new central hub.

  3. Jessi June 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm #

    I’m in Sanford, MI. I understand the damage that occurred. Is there a a my possibility that telephone service at least will be restored? It’s scary to be in a home with no telephone communication.

    • Missy Kellor June 2, 2020 at 8:18 am #

      Hi Jessi,

      The flooding damaged all the central hub equipment that delivers both internet and phone service. We’re having to basically stand up a whole new hub in an entirely new location. We’re working as quickly as we can and will have an update later today on what progress was made over the weekend and yesterday.

  4. Carrolyn June 5, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    I have hearing loss and need / use a landline for my closed caption phone. Very difficult to communicate using a cell phone. Waiting patiently for TDS to get this corrected.

    • Missy Kellor June 5, 2020 at 9:03 am #

      I understand, Carrolyn. Our teams have only had one day off since the flood and have been working 12+ hour days—we truly are working as hard as we can to get everyone back up! Thanks for hanging in there with us.

  5. Deb June 5, 2020 at 3:14 pm #

    Thank you very much for all of the hard work the TDS crews are putting in to get our service restored! While it’s inconvenient to be without service, we know you’re doing the best you can to get us up and running as quickly as possible.

  6. Nancy Sobeck June 6, 2020 at 5:59 pm #

    Hey TDS, Thank you for working so hard to restore internet and phone. My husband and I have to work from home due to Covid. Without our internet we can’t do our jobs. Aside from all the progress you’ve made could we get a loose timeline of when things will be restored? A month? A week? Having this guesstimate will allow us to make other accommodations for our work. Thank you.

    • Missy Kellor June 8, 2020 at 8:15 am #

      Nancy, I believe we’ll have a timeline to share tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!

  7. Julie Grachek June 13, 2020 at 11:44 am #

    Any idea when service will be restored at the end of 7 Mile Rd?

    • Missy Kellor June 15, 2020 at 2:03 pm #

      Julie, take a peek at the map and see where you think you fall. If you believe you should have service at this time, do give us a call at 1-888-225-5837.

  8. Carr June 15, 2020 at 9:40 am #

    LAST UPDATE was on the 12th ? or am i missing some ? this is the 15th.
    any further info ? thanks.

    • Missy Kellor June 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm #

      A new update has just been posted. We have not been offering updates on weekends.

  9. Rhonda June 24, 2020 at 6:17 pm #

    We are clearly in the restored area as of June 24, 2020 and we still do not have internet. We called and was told we still have to wait until tomorrow. Can I ask what is going on? Reside in the village of Sanford close to the beach.

    • Missy Kellor June 25, 2020 at 8:29 am #

      Rhonda, I tried emailing you but it keeps bouncing back. Please send your service address to comments@tdstelecom.com and I can have someone investigate.

  10. Mary Kathryn Schweitzer June 29, 2020 at 9:31 am #

    So close to having service back I want to stand at nine mile and watch. Please God better service than previously, our hub was so overloaded we could hardly use it

    • Missy Kellor June 29, 2020 at 2:36 pm #

      Yes! Today’s update from the field is that we should begin reconnecting customers tomorrow. And, due to the upgraded equipment and fiber, you should have much improved service :-).

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