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Ga. Power statement on Hartsfield power outage

December 17, 2017--7:00 p.m.

ABC NEWS/STAFF REPORTS

The nation's busiest airport is in the dark tonight and as many as 100 planes have been grounded, stranding thousands after a power outage.

Georgia Power issued a statement this evening:

"Georgia Power continues to work closely with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport personnel onsite to restore power to the Airport as quickly as possible. Assessment and repair efforts are well underway at this time and the company expects to have power restored to the Airport by midnight tonight.

Georgia Power believes the issue may have involved a fire which caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility. The fire was safely extinguished by fire crews before Georgia Power could enter the area to assess damage and begin repairs. 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 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 systems in place to ensure reliability for the Airport and its millions of travelers - power outages affecting the Airport are very rare."

From ABC News:

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the world's busiest airports, suffered a power outage at around 1 p.m. Sunday. Airport personnel, Atlanta Fire and Rescue officials and Georgia Power staff are on the scene to respond and restore service, a spokesman told ABC News.

"I don't know how long its been out but we've been standing here in the dark for about 35 minutes," traveler Kate Murphy told ABC News.

Another traveler described the scary scene in the blackout inside the terminals.

"The lights flickered once. That was really scary," Muhammad Saeed said. "And then they flickered again and they didn't come back. And it's been about an hour now and it's just pitch darkness in the airport."