Atlanta Airport Evacuated as Power Outage Continues, Possible Cause Determined
Major issues continued on Sunday night at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Atlanta police were planning to evacuate the airport in its entirety after the airport lost most of its power around 1pm Eastern Time, causing thousands of flights to be delayed, diverted or canceled.
Many airlines had already canceled most if not all of their flights to and from Atlanta on Sunday, but airlive.net reported that an ACARS message was sent to jets stating that all ATL operations had been canceled for the rest of the day.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory earlier in the day indicated that approximately 80-100 aircraft were parked on the taxiways and runway immediately following the power loss. However, CNN's Betsy Klein, who is on one of the trapped airplanes, reported on Twitter that the airport had begun to manually unload passengers using stairs.
Originally, rumors circulated that the cause of the outage was a construction crew accidentally cutting a power line. However, Georgia Power issued a statement indicating it believes the issue "may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility."
The statement from Georgia Power noted that "the company expects to have power restored to the Airport by midnight tonight." We will continue to update this story as more details become available.