The Verge’s excellent photo essay illustrates the “catastrophic failure” at Verizon’s 92,000-foot cable vault caused by Hurricane Sandy. Photographer Dante D’orazio went deep underground, photographing damaged cables and Con Ed workers reconnecting the building to the grid. The storm surge destroyed copper wire. Paper insulation, acting like a capillary system, carried water to dry areas, destroying still more cables. Crews are replacing copper with fiber optic cables. While fiber optics are impervious to water, the electronics used to transmit light through them are not. Verizon is still surveying equipment for damage.