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August 14, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-08-14

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 14, 2000
By meets girl
"IBM d ,

7 Mackinac Island.
is restored to

power this week


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yesterday a-.terneon.

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By David Enders
Daily Staff Reporter
connecting Michigan's popular sum-
mer resort to an Upper Peninsula power
plant have heen repaired after nearly a
week without poswer and four days of
generator prov ided power. But the
problem is far from fixed.
Last week, employees of Edison
Sault Electric C.0 replaced a set of
seven on-land power lines rutnting
frotn a posser station in St. Ignace to the
shore there and fromthtle shore on the
island to the Pat Chambers Sssitching
Station, in the island's Stornecliffe area.
At the time. according to E-dison Sault,
tests indicated that beneath Lake
IHIurotn, cables contiecting the ott-land
lines ssere ))ilnaigecl, hot since the
repairs hase becin macde, ltrther teNf~
indicated that the cables swerc dauwied
by the swcek of i oa-ts.she liecct iof
ihe 11i) is1uinclei'r.
W, ,eyescito ciprobably on
Monday an enomecering4; eport from lie
Detroiti Ediscin (E lectric Co.1 pecople
ssho were testing the ethles,' said Don
Sassruk, the piesident of Edison Sault.
The company plans to replace the
underwater lines as soon as new cables
can be foutid.
"Hopeftully this year," said Ernie
Maas, Edison Sault's ice-president.
"That's what the plan is - the prob-
letm is locating something,' Sasvruk
The underssater cables are a made-
to-order itens, and Edison Sault has
been in contact with firms as close as
Chicago and as far away ats Norsvay to
find the tneeded 10 miles of cable,
Saswruk said.
Until a replicement is macdc, the sit-
uation is being tieated as a 'crisis,' and
an operator foi the six large generators
that ssere usciI to retlirn poswer tci the
Islaniclncarly two wsseeks ago svill
remlain on Mackinac thrcocgh the tLabor
Day holiday.ssWleu touirisintotrimally
drsops oilf. If ainotiher outage occurs, the
operator will warm up the generators
sshile other Edisons Sault emnployees
trasel to the island to switch its 1,3101
customers front the mainland lines to
the generators.
The Michigan Public Serv ice
Commtission is also involsed, and has
already been on the island to begin their
resview of how the problem was han-

Friday. a PSC representative "toured
the faeilitiea to get a bird-eye view of
what happened," Sawruk said. He
added that he had "spoke to thia indi-
vidual form the first day to keep him
informed on what was going on with
the crisis.'
The "crisis" began Satutrday, July 22,
when an as-of-yet-undetertnined prob-
lem occurred in one of the seven linen
that services the Island.
"We have a good hatidle but we ar4*
trying to get all the possible options
weighed," Sawruk said.
It has been determined the subse-
qutent "cascading" breaks from the
original problem caused were heat
related. Overloading of beastly insulat-
ed on-land cables causeda fire early
Wednesday, July 26, which sesered alt
sesn of the lines sbi they come
ashlore on the islandIc 1 ii the island
powser edit off from the n ainlanci unti:W
I hirsclav
"We have replaced or Iypissed the
areas that had the prolem'os twso weeks
ago," Maas said.
Since the restoration of power, busi-
ness has largely retirited to nortmal on
the Island, except for t request by
Edison Sault for customwers to reduce
the load on the damaged underwater
cables as much as possible.
"We're asking customers to stay on
the reduced usage schedule if they
can," Sawruk said, which includes
keeping air conditioning units above 75
degrees, reducitng the setting on hot
water heaters and avoidtng doing laun-
dry between 6 n.m. and 9 p.tn.
Homeowners and businesses on thre
island are also looking into reparations
for losses during thne outage.
Restaurants lost stores of perishables
and runny hotels received cancelations*
frotm guests with reservations.
Mackitnac Island Mlayor Margaret
Doud said last week that shte hopes to
set tip a meeting wNith representatisves
from Edisoti Sault and legal eounsel for
the city in rope of reaching a settle-
"We would like a mreeting with
Edison Sault to talk abouit a settlement
without a class-action suit;' she said.
When asked if he had a comment on
pow-er being restored last week
Mackinac Island Chatmber O
Cotmmerce Director Len Trankina had
only this to sany:
"That's all we ask:'

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