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- WITH ANDREW -- TO STATE AND TRAVEL EDITORS:

- WITH ANDREW -- TO STATE AND TRAVEL EDITORS:
 FLORIDA KEYS ELECTRICAL TIELINE RECONNECTED,
 TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE RECEIVING VISITORS
 FLORIDA KEYS, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Repairs to high voltage electrical wires, knocked down by Hurricane Andrew, that provide the Florida Keys with much of their power needs, are almost completed, according to Keys electric officials.
 The storm, which left most of the 125-mile island chain unscathed, stripped 13 miles of 138,000-volt transmission lines off power poles along Card Sound Road in North Key Largo. Repair crews have finished restringing those lines that tie the Keys to a Florida City substation and are anticipating full resumption of electrical service by Florida Power & Light (FPL).
 "We got the tieline back last night," said Charles Russell, general manager of the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative. "We're back to business as usual, but we're asking folks to conserve if they can until we get our full FPL power."
 Russell said the company is asking users to implement reduced conservation practices by keeping air conditioning thermostats set at moderate temperatures, using water heaters two hours each day and to avoid energizing unnecessary appliances. He added that residents, the Keys tourism industry and other area businesses have been good in complying with more stringent conservation practices recently suspended.
 Meanwhile many Florida Keys hotels reported room availabilities for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
 "Even though many of our properties in the Key Largo and Islamorada areas are committed to relief efforts (for South Dade hurricane victims) we are keeping an inventory of rooms for transient guests," said Chris Fleisher, president of the Upper Keys Hotel/Motel Association.
 Marathon area hoteliers are pleased with the increased availability of electrical service.
 "We're very happy that we are now able to provide our guests with all the services and amenities which they have come to expect," said Tom Cherniavsky, president of the Heart of the Keys Resort Association. "Our task now is to advise visitors that traffic is flowing smoothly between the Keys and Florida's Turnpike."
 In Key West, visitor flow has been increasing following low occupancy rates immediately after the storm.
 "We've had increases in inquiries and reservations," said Gerry Tinlin, president of the Key West Hotel/Motel Association. "The lodging industry is cautiously encouraged by these signs which hopefully will bring us back to levels of occupancy we anticipated prior to the storm."
 -0- 9/4/92
 /CONTACT: Andy Newman of Stuart Newman Associates, 305-856-8252, 305-279-3769 (home) or 305-332-2992 (cellular), for the Florida Keys & Key West/ CO: Florida Keys & Key West ST: Florida IN: LEI SU:


JJ-AW -- FL018 -- 7083 09/04/92 16:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 4, 1992
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