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Military bases on Guam are back to normal after an islandwide blackout forced them to operate on generator power for several hours Monday.

At 1:40 p.m. a Marianas Energy Co. generator failure left Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Forces Marianas residents without power, military officials said.

Power was restored at Andersen at about 6 p.m., spokeswoman Kim Melchor said Tuesday, noting the blackout affected 3,500 residents. Disruption was minimal, she said: Many offices were closed for the Columbus Day holiday and “power outages are a fact of life on Guam.”

Melchor said many base residents spent the day at the theater, in shopping malls or driving around to keep cool.

Power returned at Naval Forces Marianas around 4:30 p.m., when two of three Navy generators kicked on at Orote Power Plant. The generators produce enough electricity to supply the old and new off-base Apra Housing areas, Deputy Public Affairs Officer Chief Jonathan Annis said Tuesday.

“We retained operational readiness,” added Naval Forces Marianas spokeswoman Lt. Thurraya Kent.

Navy officials said they were unsure how many residents were affected. The Navy has more than 1,600 family and 1,300 bachelor housing units on Guam.

Guam Power Authority restored electricity to Navy areas by 6 p.m., but the Orote generators continued to run in parallel to the civilian system until 8 p.m., Annis said.

Power Authority officials are blaming the blackout on a faulty mechanical system in the utility’s generator No. 8. A new control system has already been ordered.

Although the outage affected civilian water and sewage systems, backup generators protected Navy areas.

“There were no sewer or water problems,” Annis said. “We have sufficient capacity on base.”

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