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Mackinac Island Loses Power

July 25, 2000

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) _ Cables carrying electricity to this picturesque resort island failed, forcing hotels to use backup generators and ask guests to take cold showers.

The island’s 1,300 utility customers had grappled with intermittent outages since Saturday and lost power entirely Monday morning. Five of the seven underwater cables that run between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island failed.

The power remained out Tuesday morning. Edison Sault Electric Co. crews made temporary splices on four of the five trouble spots and hope to fix the fifth later in the day, spokesman Craig Davidson said. Luckily, he said, the problems are with the island connections on land, and not underwater.

Every hotel room on the island was booked Monday night as boat crew members arrived 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.

``Cooking on the grill tastes pretty good, but the beer isn’t very cold,″ said Dennis Cawthorne, who owns the island’s Village Inn restaurant.

The outage did not stop most tourists from enjoying themselves Monday.

``Just because the power’s out doesn’t mean people stop buying fudge,″ said Derek Motes, manager of Murdicks Fudge.

Mackinac (pronounced MACK-ih-naw) Island is located in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Lower and Upper peninsulas. Except for a few airplanes that fly in, boats are the only way to reach the island, which bans motorized vehicles.


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