EDS gets data center KO'd by Floyd back online

Electronic Data Systems Corp. is still assessing the total cost of damages caused by Hurricane Floyd at its data center in Rochelle Park, N.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. is still assessing the total cost of damages caused by Hurricane Floyd at its data center in Rochelle Park, N.J., which temporarily wiped out ATM networks affecting hundreds of banks across the country.

As the storm barreled up the East Coast, EDS on Sept. 17 evacuated the 300 employees at the data center, which is a hub for some 8,000 ATMs. (ATM networks are one of EDS' areas of expertise.)

Once EDS staffers were able to get back into the facility, they found 17 inches of water inside, no power and no telecommunications. "We could not get the ATMs up immediately," said EDS spokesman Reed Byrum.

To do repairs, EDS flew in equipment from its Plano, Texas, headquarters.

ATM service was knocked out from that Friday until 5:33 p.m. the following Monday, Byrum said. While the exact number of banks and credit unions affected isn't known, Byrum said it was in the hundreds "on both coasts." Consumers could still access their accounts from ATMs of institutions not on EDS' network, he said.

Byrum declined to say how much the outage cost EDS or its customers, or how much equipment EDS purchased in order to effect repairs.

He said some 800 employees worked around the clock to get the center up and running. With the possibility of other storms brewing, EDS is keeping extra staff on standby at data centers up and down the East Coast, Byrum said.

EDS can be reached at www.eds.com.

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