This Is What Caused the Massive Power Outage at the Atlanta Airport

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In the meantime, passengers were left sitting inside dark airport terminals and on planes on the tarmac for hours, with no flights allowed to take off. The news release also said the outage may have been caused by a fire in at Georgia Power underground electrical facility.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for flights to Atlanta at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday, meaning that planes are being held at their departure airports, according to a tweet on the airport's verified Twitter account.

There are still flights scheduled today, but RDU officals are telling travelers flying to Atlanta to check their flight status with their airline before arriving at the airport.

But when a major power outage crippled Hartsfield-Jackson airport, Chick-fil-A provided food for the thousands of stranded passengers. To help clear the backlog, it added flights and found seats for some of its customers on other airlines. They began work at around 3 p.m.to get the power up and running. After initial anxiety inside Terminal B, she said, things had calmed down by about 4:30 p.m. - even as there was little indication of when power would be restored. That means the backups will slowly, but surely be getting back on track as well.

Southwest, the airport's second-largest airline, said it was back on a normal schedule, but a spokesman could not say how long it would take to clear the backlog of stranded travelers.

"Delta is aware of a power outage at the Atlanta Airport affecting airport concourses and terminal buildings", spokesman Michael Thomas told CNN.

Expected to miss a month
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Delta Air Lines lost power in August 2016, causing more than 2,000 flight cancellations over several days.

Mozell Smith, 58, of Atlanta arrived at the airport hours after the electricity went off. That report was unconfirmed, and Georgia Power said it was working with airport authorities to determine the cause of the outage.

CNN reported all flights out of Atlanta have been canceled for Sunday and all arrivals have been halted. Planes also were not departing the airport. Most travelers were patient as the world's busiest airport recovered from the outage.

Robert Mann, an aviation consultant and former American Airlines executive, said it likely will be Tuesday before Delta's operations return to normal, and for passengers "it could be most of the week" because there aren't many open seats on other flights in the last week before Christmas. That brought the airport to a standstill and grounded more than a thousand flights.

No areas outside of the airport were affected by the power loss. At one point, there were at least 40 planes stuck on the runway and tarmac.

The airport serves an average of 275,000 passengers daily, according to its website.

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