MICHIGAN - Power goes out on Mackinac Island

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Power goes out on Mackinac Island Lanterns, generators light way for tourists during busiest time By Gary Heinlein / The Detroit News

MACKINAC ISLAND -- Michigan's premier summer tourist destination is without power, with every hotel room booked and hundreds of boat crew members arriving at the end of the annual Chicago-to-Mackinac yacht race. Hotels and other businesses were getting by with backup generators and battery-powered lanterns, although many guests were doing without warm showers. Restaurants grilled hot dogs outside on charcoal barbecues, while a local florist put her arrangements outside the front door of her darkened shop. "I look pretty silly, but it works," Mackinac Island Florist owner Terri Christy said. More than 1 million tourists visit the island every summer, mostly in June, July and August. Electricity to Mackinac Island went off about 10:30 a.m. Monday, and may not be fully restored for days. An official of Edison Sault Electric Co. said steel-armored underwater electric cables failed. The power failure didn't stop most tourists from enjoying the island. "Just because the power's out doesn't mean people stop buying fudge," said Derek Motes, manager of Murdick's Fudge. The French Outpost, with charcoal-grilled food and beer on ice, served customers by candle and lantern light, general manager Nick Benvenuto said. The Grand Hotel brought in generators and temporary lights for its rooms. "Our guests' mood is very good," spokesman Ken Hayward said. National Guard units planned to set up temporary street lights and at least one large semi-truck load of dry ice was on the way to island businesses from Grayling. "Carriage tours are busy -- you don't need power for horses," Benvenuto said. "But with all the generators running, it's not as peaceful."


-- Doris (reaper1@mindspring.com), July 25, 2000

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