There has to something more to this story than what we’re being told. If there isn’t more to this story, then Atlanta Airport officials and Georgia Power are going to have some explaining to do…
A complete power outage at the nation’s busiest airport, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, grounded flights Sunday afternoon, threatening to cause a holiday travel nightmare for fliers across the country just over a week before Christmas.
Thousands of passengers were stranded and flights were grounded or delayed as a power outage crippled Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport — the world's busiest airport pic.twitter.com/WpWQLGu5GD
— EagleWings (@Rise1Soar2BFree) December 17, 2017
Georgia Power said that repairs are “well underway” at the airport and power is expected to be restored around midnight on Sunday, and the airport tweeted that “Power on Concourse F is back ON!”
Washington Examiner’s Byron York tweeted only two hours ago, that “no one seems to know why” the power outage happened.
The Atlanta airport story is huge. By far the nation's largest airport, it just goes dark, operations shut down. Thousands stranded, in very difficult situations. And nobody seems to know why.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) December 17, 2017
“We are working with great urgency w/ @Georgia Power to restore power through rest of airport,” the tweet read.
According to FlightAware.com, 1,161 flights have been canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson as of 8:20 p.m. ET.
Delta passengers were not happy with how things were being handled, especially the passengers who were stuck on the tarmac for several hours, unable to disembark from the planes:
Oh. My. God. Just left ATL airport last night at midnight after 15 hours of travel. If I had been stuck against my will in my plane on tarmac..Gives me anxiety just thinking about it. That’s A LOT of ppl in tight space.
— Siiid (@OhGoSquid) December 18, 2017
Fox News reported on the outage:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 17, 2017
Georgia Power said in a statement Sunday evening that “the issue may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility.”
The airport said power had been restored to one of its six concourses around 7:30 p.m., about seven hours after the initial outage, and Georgia Power said it expects to have power fully restored to the airport by midnight.
CNBC News reporter Ethan Kraft reports that Chick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy will coordinate meals for thousands of stranded passengers at the airport:
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he spoke with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to coordinate meals for thousands of stranded passengers at #ATLairport, who have been in the dark since 2p ET
— Ethan Kraft (@ethan_kraft) December 18, 2017
Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire and had begun assessing damage and beginning repairs, but they had not yet been able to ascertain the cause of the blaze, the utility said. – FOX News
NBC News – Airport officials said a large portion of the facility had been affected and that repair teams had been working to address the situation since around 1:30 p.m. ET.
Not everyone is buying the “fire” story however. This Twitter user believes that terror threat is the cause for the evacuation:
The #atlairport has been evacuated, passangers are standing outside on the tarmac, no one is allowed to leave. I think a high level #Hivite was trying to get away, or they've disrupted a major terror attack. It's not being reported by @CNN (headquarters in Atlanta) #MediaBlackOut
— Sarah Ruth Ashcraft (@SaRaAshcraft) December 17, 2017
Many citizens are questioning the story they are being told about a simple power outage, and wondering why, in the largest airport in the world, there isn’t any back up power?
Officials with the Atlanta Police Department told WSB-TV the airport is evacuating travelers inside.
A spokesperson told The Associated Press that no areas outside the airport were affected by the outage. However, flights at Chicago airports O’Hare International and Midway both have canceled flights — but it’s not yet clear if they were canceled due to Atlanta’s outage.
Delta Airlines, which is headquartered in Atlanta, said it had canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights. Passengers should check the status of their flights, the airline said.
“Pending full resumption of power, Delta anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta, though some delays and cancellations can be expected,” the airline said on its website.
The airline said it would issue a waiver to those who were traveling through Atlanta with the airline on Dec. 17 or 18. The airline also said it would give travelers a refund if they would like to cancel their trip because their flight was canceled or delayed more than 90 minutes.
Those arriving for their flights were met with long lines and a pitch dark airport. No escalators, elevators or information screens were operational.
Brian Moote, 36, the morning host of an Atlanta radio show, said he was returning home on a flight from Dallas when the power went out in the airport. Moote said he and his fellow passengers had been stuck in their plane on the tarmac for nearly six hours, beginning at around 12:30 p.m. ET.