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Fairfield officials warn against harassing UI crews

Published 5:53 pm, Monday, November 5, 2012
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Several reports of power company repair crews being harassed while in the field over the last few days have prompted Fairfield officials to warn the public that will not be tolerated, despite frustrations over the week-long effort to restore full electric service in town after Hurricane Sandy.

"It's easy to the understand the rage," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said Monday afternoon, "but the (United Illuminating) crews have been out in the cold, in the dark, in the rain, working hard to get power restored for the last eight days ...

"The issues with UI are not with the lines crew, but senior management having a better plan in place and being more responsive to the customers," he added, repeating earlier criticism of the utility for the slow pace of restoring power over the last week.

Tetreau was joined by Police Chief Gary MacNamara in warning people against harassing the crews or interfering with their repair work.

There have been no arrests, however, in regard to any of the incidents.

The first selectman's warning echoed a statement he posted earlier in the day on the town's website.

"Let's help them do their job by letting them work. We need their help," Tetreau said at the time. "We want their help and we should appreciate their efforts. Please cooperate with them and our town departments as we work to get power back for everyone.

But Monday evening, most of the town again had electric service, after more than 95 percent of the local customers were blacked out in the immediate aftermath of Sandy. At 5 p.m., 7 percent of UI's Fairfield customers had no power, while only 2 percent of those in the Southport section of town were in the dark.