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Power back on at Hartsfield

December 18, 2017--7:10 a.m.

Staff reports

According to Georgia Power:

Georgia Power and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport personnel have worked throughout the day today to restore power at the Airport as quickly and safely as possible. As of 11:45 p.m., power had been restored for all essential airport activities including all concourses and flight operations.

While evaluation of the incident is ongoing, Georgia Power believes that a piece of Georgia Power switchgear located in an underground electrical facility could have failed and started a fire. This fire was located adjacent to redundant circuit cables and switching mechanisms serving the airport and those cables were damaged, resulting in the outage and loss of redundant service methods.

The fire was safely extinguished by fire crews before Georgia Power could enter the area to assess damage and begin repairs. In addition to the fire, responding crews faced hazardous fumes and smoke which had to fully clear prior to beginning restoration work. The event impacted not only the underground facilities, but also substations serving the Airport and, while the cause is not yet known, Georgia Power’s system responded properly by isolating areas where equipment wasn’t operating correctly to ensure safety and minimize damage. No personnel or passengers were in danger at any time.

Georgia Power has many redundant system and sources of power in place to ensure reliability for the Airport and its millions of travelers - power outages affecting the Airport are very rare. The company will continue to actively work with the Airport to address any remaining impacts in non-essential areas of the Airport, determine the cause of today’s incident and prevent future occurrences.

Pictured above is a photo of the damage released by Georgia Power

NBC News reports that the travel woes will linger for days. Thousands of people are stranded Monday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where more than 1,000 flights were grounded just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush. A sudden power outage caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility brought the airport to a standstill Sunday about 1 p.m.