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NASSAU, Bahamas – Hurricane Michelle reportedly lost some of its strength as it moved off Cuba on Monday, but it still had enough power to wallop the Bahamas capital with 85 mph winds, drench the island with as much as three feet of rain in some places, and force the CUNA Attorneys Conference to delay its opening events on Nov. 5. At press time there was only limited phone service on the island, but CUNA’s General Counsel Eric Richard was able to speak by cell phone with the association’s Senior Vice President of Communications Mark Wolff and reassure him that everyone, including the 74 league attorneys who managed to make it to the conference, were safe. According to Richard, the Atlantis Hotel and Casino where the six-day event was held Nov. 2-7, sustained some damage. He explained that the first day’s events were cancelled because the hotel management evacuated all guests into the main meeting rooms for safety reasons. Richard said reported wind gusts from the hurricane reached 135 mph. Beside the 75 conference attendees, an additional 31 who were registered to attend cancelled at the last minute because of the predicted weather conditions, and 25 more were enroute but couldn’t make it to the island because of the hurricane. Only a handful of attendees who were at the hotel before the storm hit left before the conference began. Richard said CUNA plans to follow up with an audio conference to cover the first day’s events that were cancelled.

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