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FI-EditorialWhen things are mess, and people are anxious — as in the wake of Storm Sandy — communication is of heightened importance.

UI and its workers — the linemen and tree crews from near and far — as well as the town and it’s many good people, both workers and volunteers, deserve everyone’s thanks. They worked long and hard under very tough circumstances. The work crews did make steady progress on a very nasty situation, clearing roads of trees and wires, putting up new poles, hanging wires, getting power back to people. The emergency folks got the shelter set up at the Community Center welcomed people for showers, coffee, overnight stays. Echo Hose Ambulance handed out emergency supplies to people who needed it.

Thanks, everyone. It wasn’t easy, and of course it wasn’t all smooth, but you did a lot for the people you serve. People worked with dedication that was inspiring.

But the communication needs to be better — especially from UI.

OK, after last year’s storms, the state’s utilities are shy of making bold predictions. How about telling the folks in town what areas are crews working on? What’s the plan? Where will power be restored next? Of course UI, can’t say exactly when each little neighborhood will get power back. But it’s hard to understand why they couldn’t give people an idea what’s going on: These are the areas we’re working on now; here’s where we’ll start working next.

Understandably, people get upset when power is out for long periods of time. But it was disturbing to hear some of the reports in nearby towns, about UI crews getting harassed and yelled at, and one man threatening elected officials in Stratford. It’s childish and it’s venting frustrations in the wrong way.

The UI crews who have been working long days, trying to fix this mess, aren’t responsible for our problems. They are trying to fix it. In fact, many were called in from other parts of the country, away from their homes and families. While we may deserve some better communication from our utility company, the crews don’t deserve to be harassed.

The work goes slowly. It’s frustrating for everyone. Crews and trucks sit and wait to go out because they have to be told where to go, what to do. They’re dealing with electricity, it can kill people, and crews can’t be running around willy-nilly, fixing lines and powering them up. Someone has to be in control and know where everyone is working, what lines are hot, what aren’t, where power’s coming on. That’s very understandable. Why not share that information with the people in the cold and dark, waiting?

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