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Lights went out in Pulaski

Ever been working on your computer when the electricity goes off? What do you do?

Was it a wreck? A bird with feet entangled in the wrong wire to land on? Perhaps it could simply be an equipment failure.

Whatever it was it gets people in a tizzy and at times angrily.

Phones nearly ring off the hook at such times and callers seem intent on blaming the person on the other end of the line for the problem and they want it corrected now.

What happened? Where did it happen? When will the power be back on? These are the civil and easy calls. Some language, though, might burn your ears.

Dispatchers at the sheriff’s department, police departments, fire departments and power companies catch the brunt of the force.

They must have a sense of humor to survive. If not, they might suffer burnout and depression.

A brief stop at the Pulaski Count Sheriff’s Department Thursday afternoon when the power went off, for reasons unknown at the time, revealed the hectic “war room” of the communications center.

Fortunately the emergency generator was functioning and the phone system and lights were working.

“Yes, we are aware the power is off. No we do not know when it will be back on,” and on and on the calls came.

One humorous response was “my crystal ball is broken and I don’t know.” That call was not from John Q. Public, who would have gotten a more formal quiet response, but a co-worker.

It broke the ice and the ice needed breaking under the stressful conditions, and this was minor compared to tornadoes and flooding.

It was inconvenient, but be thankful it was not cold, snowing, sleeting, or hot as blazes.

Computers sure go bonkers when the power goes off. People do, too.