Operators of wireline telephone networks, mobile networks, and cable systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states were faced this week with the daunting task of restoring lost communications in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, with the greatest impacts felt in hard hit areas of New Jersey and New York City. However, in contrast to the “derecho” that brought down the Verizon 911 system in Maryland and Virginia last June, emergency communications systems largely weathered the worst of Sandy’s wrath, as FCC officials reported that “a very small number” of public safety answering points (PSAPs) were affected. Flood waters from Sandy’s storm surge invaded Verizon offices in lower Manhattan, Long Island and Queens, rendering back-up power systems at those sites inoperable and thereby cutting off landline, Internet and FiOS television services to customers served by those sites. While detailing his company’s efforts to reroute affected voice and data traffic to other facilities, a Verizon spokesman acknowledged that some business customers outside of the hurricane zone might also experience disruptions as a significant amount of international and enterprise traffic is routed through the New York metropolitan area. Confirming, “we are experiencing some issues in areas heavily impacted by the storm,” an AT&T official said his company was performing “an on-the-ground assessment of our network for damage, and crews will be working around the clock to restore service.” Similarly, Sprint Nextel said it was also experiencing outages, particularly in the New York tristate area, the Washington, D.C. area, Pennsylvania and portions of New England, that are attributable to power failures, flooding and loss of cell site backhaul connections. Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Comcast also reported disruptions in markets throughout the region, with a Comcast spokeswoman explaining that “most issues are directly related to commercial power outages.” Notwithstanding these and other storm-related challenges, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that the city’s 911 service “has been going without a hitch,” with “minimal” delays of up to five minutes as the system handled a whopping 10,000 emergency calls per half hour during the storm. Meanwhile, even as federal government offices in Washington, D.C. shut their doors at the height of the storm on Monday and Tuesday, FCC staff members continued to work remotely to monitor and assist in storm preparations and response.