PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A few hundred Verizon residential and business customers who rely on landlines are without service.

The outage is in the Oakland area, and it was caused by an underground cable damaged by water.

It happened earlier this week when a leaky valve damaged a copper cable.

A Verizon spokesman says the Pittsburgh Water Authority was reluctant to have repair crews get to the problem area, fearing any excavation might make the valve situation worse than it was.

Now, Verizon says crews are splicing new cable to by-pass the damaged one, and service is being restored gradually.

Carlos Giampolo, whose 98-year-old father lives in South Oakland, says his dad only has a landline phone and he relies on it because of poor eye sight.

“He relies on the land phone; even if we purchased a cellular phone for him, he wouldn’t be able to use it because he has macular degeneration, so this landline phone is his lifeline,” said Giampolo. “It’s very frustrating during the holiday season to have service like this.”

Giampolo says he’s frustrated because Verizon told him his phone might not be working again until next Wednesday.

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