Underground Fire Causes Power Outage in South Bend

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An underground electrical fire in South Bend, IN left hundreds of homes and businesses without power during a weekend where thousands were visiting for Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies.

Indiana Michigan Power spokesman, Mark Robinson, said utilities had to cut power to parts of the city because power circuits in an underground vault were badly damaged.  The fire cut power on Thursday and wasn't brought back online until Sunday.

"They're still working on the cause; however, it does appear there was extensive damage," Robinson reported to the South Bend Tribune, but, due to the power outage, they were unable to print the newspaper in time for Friday distribution.

The Notre Dame campus was unaffected by the power outage, but the local hotels and restaurants were affected.

South Bend brought in two large generators to help power the Century Center, Doubletree Hotel, and other local businesses.

Executive Director of Downtown South Bend Inc said, "A lot of small businesses really count on this particular weekend to survive and thrive.  There is never a good time for something like this to happen, and with so many people visiting this weekend for Notre Dame and St. Mary's graduations, the inconvenience and economic economic impact will be especially unfortunate."

Kara Kelly, spokeswoman for Mayor Pete Buttgieg's office said the outage closed South Bend's City-county building, Building Department, South Bend Water Works and the St. Joseph County Courthouse through Saturday.