Heat Wave Takes Toll on D.C. Region

Many Without Power Feeling "Disconnected" From the World

Some cellphone service affected

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In an age where we rely on technology for so much of what we do, many who are without power feel disconnected from the rest of the world.

    While most people who lost power due to Friday’s storm got it back, some are still feeling disconnected because they don't have cable or Internet, either.

    The storm temporarily put freelance filmmaker Greg Smith out of business. The Pepco feeder in his Rockville neighborhood is down and there’s a split tree in his yard. Smith works from home, so no power means no computers, no editing equipment, no Internet and projects on hold.

    “There were actually two clients that I had to refer to somebody else because they needed to get something done quickly,” he said.

    The main problem boils down to downed lines. Cable and Internet providers have told customers their repair crews can’t climb the poles and repair lines until the power companies get electricity flowing.

    “We are at the mercy of the power company, and if Pepco can get it back up, we’re back in business,” Smith said.

    For some, the loss of power, Internet and TV service is more than just an inconvenience. It means being disconnected in a world where technology rules, relying on a cell phone to get information and updates about outages.

    But cell service has been affected as well. Sprint customers in Silver Spring who’ve had spotty service told News4 they were told it's because the storm damaged cell phone towers.

    In Alexandria, Verizon parked a 100-foot mobile service trailer at TC Williams High School so residents can use the Internet and make phone calls -- even international ones -- for free.