The power went out on Sunday at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, grounding flights and stranding passengers. Given that ATL is the world's busiest airport, this is a pretty huge deal, and authorities still don't know when the power will be restored. In the meantime, many tweets about the Atlanta airport's power outage show the extent of the chaos, and how travelers are dealing with it.
In a press release, the airport said that the outage hit shortly after 1 p.m local time Sunday, and that airport officials are working with Georgia Power to identify the cause. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a pilot told passengers that the airport lost power after a construction crew cut a power line; however, the airport's social media stated that this had not yet been confirmed, and the city government's Twitter said later that it may have been related to "a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility." That fire which has reportedly been extinguished, the utility company added.
The FAA has ordered all flights into ATL grounded at their departing airports, according to USA TODAY.
There have been plenty of tweets from the ground in Atlanta, and they show what a power outage at the world's busiest airport looks like.
As travelers waited for more information about the outage, strobe lights flashed in certain parts of the airport.
According to some reports, parts of the airport were evacuated after smoke was seen in the terminals.
"An Emergency Has Been Reported"
Travelers were informed via a PA announcement that an "emergency has been reported" and asked to stand by for more information.
Standing On The Tarmac
A handful of Twitter users, including a journalist for the Atlanta Jewish Times, were reportedly stranded on planes on the tarmac for hours after the power outage.
A Dark Airport
In many parts of the airport, the only source of light was the sun shining through open windows.
Needless to say, the outage resulted in massive lines throughout the airport.
In addition to the sun, vehicles inside the airport provided a small amount of light for commuters.
Even passengers whose flights had already landed were affected by the power outage, as it shut off the baggage claim and prevented them from being able to leave with their luggage.
While some parts of the airport had limited light after the outage, others were pitch black.
Some passengers at ATL used handheld lights and cell phones to navigate unlit hallways.
The View From The Sky
Despite its relatively low profile, ATL is the busiest airport in the world, and this tweet illustrates the effect the outage had on sky traffic across the globe.
Still No Lights
Come nightfall, power still had not been restored at the airport.
A Crowded Tarmac
As a result of the FAA grounding all flights at Hartsfield-Jackson, planes lined up behind one another on the tarmac, unable to go anywhere.
At 7 p.m. local time, the airport released the following statement regarding the power outage:
Georgia Power continues to work closely with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Personnel onsite to restore power to the Airport as quickly as possible. Assessment and repair efforts are underway at this time and the company expects to have power restored to the Airport by midnight.
George Power believes the issue may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in an underground electrical facility. This even impacted not only the underground facilities, but also substations serving the Airport.
The fire was safely extinguished by fire crews before Georgia Power could enter the area to assess the damage and begin repairs.
The cause of the incident is not yet known.
The outage reportedly stranded thousands of passengers and caused hundreds of flights to be canceled.