Back to business for DTSB shops and restaurants

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It was back to business for dozens of Downtown South Bend shops and restaurants taking advantage of a Sunday afternoon with electricity.

The two-and-a-half-day power outage came to an end for most customers shortly after noon -- after hours of around the clock work from Indiana Michigan Power crews.

"I'll tell ya, I've never see anything prettier than when those street lights came on," said Paul Chodak, President & COO Indiana Michigan Power. "I never thought I'd be happy to see a flashing red traffic light - but I was."

Many businesses we're able to get generator power as early as Friday afternoon -- saving a weekend worth of business from enormous graduation crowds.

The South Bend Chocolate Company reported massive crowds as soon as they were able to turn on the lights.

"It didn't matter if anything was made, people just flocked in," said employee Claire Davey. "So we sold chocolate a little bit we had our coffees brewing. We did what we could."

Even with generator power, some businesses still lost power from time to time.

"We had a few glitches here and there -- even once for a half an hour," Davey said. "And every was very supportive of us and stayed through it."

While most businesses say they will feel this outage in their bottom line once the bills come in, the blackout didn't hurt sales as much as they feared.

"The business that was lost this weekend was minute compared to what it could have been," said Carol Meehan of Fiddler's Hearth.

I&M Power thanked businesses and residents for their patience during the blackout.

"It was really just an amazing job," Chodak said. "You don't see that in every city. We have outages in different places from time to time -- obviously not as several as this one was -- but the coordination here was just fantastic and really it takes all those people together working through it."

An investigation will soon be underway to determine the official cause of the fire and resulting outages.

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