- Associated Press - Sunday, May 18, 2014

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Utility crews restored electricity to downtown South Bend on Sunday after nearly three days off the grid, as musicians at a local pub played “Here Comes the Sun.”

Power was restored shortly after noon, Indiana Michigan Power Co. spokesman Brian Bergsma said, but crews stayed on to monitor the restored power lines to make sure there were no lingering issues.

At Fiddler’s Hearth, a duo played the hit Beatles song and the brunch crowd celebrated with toasts after co-owner Carol Meehan saw the street lights starting to blink.

“We didn’t want to let the moment pass without recognizing it,” Meehan told the South Bend Tribune. The pub is one of several businesses that resorted to generators after an electrical fire Thursday night cut power to more than 800 customers.

“The city did an outstanding job, considering the circumstances,” Meehan said. “I’m sure we lost some business, but it was nothing compared to what we would have lost if the city hadn’t reacted so quickly.”

The city placed temporary lights at intersections, and extra police officers and ambassadors were called upon to patrol streets.

Some downtown businesses closed for the weekend, but others rented generators to stay open and serve customers. Thousands of visitors were in town for commencements at the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College. Those campuses were not affected by the outage.

Aaron Perri, executive director of Downtown South Bend Inc., said businesses pulled together to help each other find generators, transfer restaurants’ food to refrigerated trailers and make it through disruption.

The DoubleTree Hotel brought in generators so two weddings could be held there Saturday.

“Luckily they got the generators and everything started so we could stay at the hotel and have our wedding here,” one of the brides, Ashlee Coria, told WSJV-TV.

Indiana Michigan Power said its crews replaced about 4,000 feet of copper cable that had been damaged by the fire.

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