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Wireless Services Returning After Massive Hurricane Disruption

It's back in New Orleans' airport, parts of Alabama, and Florida.
After police and rescuers spent days trying to respond to Hurricane Katrina without modern communication and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco blasted wireless companies for a complete loss of services, connections were being restored along the Gulf Coast Friday.

Verizon Wireless, based in Bedminster, N.J., reported Friday that it had restored wireless service in several areas, including New Orleans’ airport. The company said it had also restored service to parts of Alabama and Florida.

In a statement released Friday, Verizon said emergency crews had moved into areas that could be reached safely and they were working to restore wireless and landline connections.

Stores and emergency call centers were beginning to serve people Friday. The company said people were more likely to successfully transmit text messages than place regular calls.

Some police had been relying on two-way radio systems. Some reportedly event used people to run between workers to send messages. Others had no means to communicate. By Friday, some lucky responders had received satellite phones.