UPDATE - Emergency Generators Sent to Mackinac

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Emergency Generators Sent to Mackinac Island

Source: UPI Publication date: 2000-07-27

MACKINAC ISLAND, July 27 (UPI) - Patience is wearing thin on normally tranquil Mackinac Island five days after electric cable failures blacked out much of the popular Michigan tourist destination.

At first tourists thought having no electricity was quaint -- like the island's 1800s Victorian charm -- but after a few days of cold showers and no TV vacationers began leaving or asking for rebates from hotels and other accommodations.

Power has returned sporadically since Saturday when five of the seven underwater cables supplying electricity to the island failed.

Tempers flared Wednesday when a cable gave out after a few hours of restored power to the downtown area and the Bluffs, where many summer residents have homes.

Wisconsin Electric sent six 1,800-kilowatt generators to the island from Pennsylvania to provide emergency power while crews from its subsidiary, Edison Sault Electric Co., worked to find the cause of the outages.

The generators are expected to be up and running by Friday.

Frustrated residents and business owners lambasted utility officials at a town meeting attended by 250 people when Edison-Sault Electric Vice President Ernie Maas said it might take two weeks to find a permanent fix to the outages.

"As frustrated as the residents and business owners are, the folks who are trying to repair the cables are even more frustrated," Wisconsin Energy spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim told the Detroit Free Press.


-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), July 28, 2000

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