DTSB businesses assess damage after blackout

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South Bend, Ind. The last of the Downtown South Bend businesses transitioned off generator power Monday, as the City’s shops and restaurants assessed the damage of up to 3 days without power.

“It's definitely going to make a dent,” said Philip Schreiber, owner of Chicory Café, which was in the dark the entire weekend.

Schreiber said he plans to file a lost business claim with his insurance company.

“Hopefully the insurance will kick in, there's a deductible, he said. “I haven't sat down to figure it out. We spent most of the morning just getting our stuff back together.”

And it wasn’t just businesses that were feeling the hurt. More than 800 residents we’re affected by the outage, and many of them were residential.

“Elevators weren't working there were some elderly people living in my apartment. So definitely, it was some trouble,” said Rudy Reyes, General Manager of Jimmy John's, who also lives in South Bend.

The St. Joseph County Public Library also experienced some serious technical difficulties as a result of the blackout.

“We provide a lot of services both in the building with our computers and our digital databases and also electronically through our website,” said Nick Schafer, Dept. Coordinator at St. Joseph County Public Library. “All of those services were interrupted and affected during the power outage.”

The library is the database hub for several area libraries, which were in turn affected by South Bend’s outage.

“We have been working during the power outage on some contingencies plans and things to make sure that this doesn't happen again if it can at all be prevented,” Schafer said.

Deputy Mayor Mark Neal released the following statement on the blackout Monday afternoon:

"I want to take a moment to thank downtown businesses, Downtown South Bend, Inc. (DTSB) and the many City of South Bend employees who stepped up and helped keep downtown functioning as normally as possible last weekend in very challenging circumstances. The partnerships and collaboration were critical in supporting businesses and residents. The City's public safety personnel, public works team, community investment staff and many, many others contributed their time, expertise and clear thinking to keep us operational. It says a lot about our community that there were no traffic accidents or any other major incidents downtown over the weekend and that so many people rallied to help 30-plus businesses keep their doors open. It was heartening to see so much coordinated effort turn a difficult problem into an illustration of teamwork and community pride. Fortunately, we're now back to business as usual. On behalf of the City of South Bend, thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the weekend feel very much the same way.”

—Deputy Mayor Mark Neal


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