AT&T, T-Mobile US and Verizon scrambled emergency response teams to restore networks affected by a huge storm late last week which reportedly killed seven people and left up to half a million without power.

US President Joe Biden declared a major disaster after parts of the state of Texas were buffeted by winds of up to 100 mph. NBC News and other outlets reported the so-called derecho weather pattern impacted utilities including water and power along with mobile services.

On 18 May, the day after the derecho, AT&T stated its network in the state was “operating at more than 99 per cent of normal” following “significant progress” in restoration efforts.

The operator also had a role through the FirstNet network for emergency services, noting it had a fleet of more than 180 mobile cell sites which use satellite to connect to the service.

AT&T stated it had also waived voice, text and data overage charges until 26 May.

Verizon meanwhile dropped charges for post-paid and prepaid customers on various main and sub-brand tariffs, effective until 23 May. In a statement on 17 May, the operator claimed to have “already restored more than half” of its sites, adding all of its macro sites have battery backup and 90 per cent of those in the states of Texas and Louisiana sport generators.

“Refuelling efforts are underway to ensure those generators continue to provide power,” it stated.

T-Mobile also focused on the loss of power, deploying community support teams over the weekend to “provide Wi-Fi, device charging and charging supplies” in local community centres.

It employed portable generators and stated it had deployed mobile cell sites “in areas where repairs could take longer”.