Weary travelers arrive in Gulfport after Atlanta airport outage

Weary travelers arrive in Gulfport after Atlanta airport outage
(Source: WLOX)
(Source: WLOX)
(Source: WLOX)
(Source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Travelers stranded overnight in Atlanta arrived Monday at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, weary but relieved to finally be at their destination.

The power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport left thousands of people stuck overnight Sunday in Atlanta. By the time some of those passengers made it to Gulfport, they had a tale of absolute airport terror to tell.

"We spent about 19 hours in the airport," said Amy Creighton. "Four hours on the tarmac, coming from Louisville. It was just terrible. Nobody knew where to send us. Everybody was disjointed; we slept on the floor as much as we could. No food, no water, no transportation."

Now, many of the passengers who spent the evening in the Atlanta airport say they were surprised by the lack of preparedness - the lack of food, the lack of water, the lack of organization. And they say they are going to be hard-pressed to use the Atlanta airport anytime again soon.

"It was like they were totally unprepared," said Jim Hollingsworth. "I've never seen anything like it, especially not having that kind of back-up power in the world's busiest airport. It was pretty unbelievable. And the support was non-existent."

Georgia Power said a fire in an underground electrical facility caused the sudden power outage around 1 p.m. Sunday. That brought the airport to a standstill and grounded more than a thousand flights. Power was restored shortly after midnight Monday.

Delta, the biggest airline at the Atlanta airport, was forced to cancel 400 flights system-wide on Monday, but  says it should be largely or completely back to normal by Tuesday.

Flights at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport are also expected to be fully back on track following a few delays on Monday.

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