Hurricane Ike Closes HP's Houston Desktop and Laptop Operations

Hewlett-Packard closed its Houston area facilities Friday until Sunday. Hewlett-Packard data centers would be unaffected, but one hardware repair center was closed and some service centers and repair facilities have face distribution trouble as FedEx shut down Houston service.

There is no longer any doubt, Hurricane Ike is headed to Houston.

Hewlett-Packard, with more than 8,000 employees in the Houston area, decided to close shop today, tomorrow and Sunday to let employees prepare homes and family for the storm, which most likely means evacuating.

Houston is the primary home of HP's Personal Systems Group and the Compaq line.

We're still trying to learn what parts of HP's business and service will be impacted.

HP's Cindy Wilson reported Sept. 11 on MediaSmartHome, the community site for HP's MediaSmart product line, the evacuation will affect U.S. hardware service calls for MediaSmart customers. The U.S. hardware service and repair center for MediaSmart was closed Thursday and FedEx has cancelled inbound shipments, Wilson said. When the repair center reopens it will likely face a backlog, and customers should expect delays, she said.

An HP spokeswoman said data center operations were unaffected but would not elaborate.