Georgia Power CEO apologizes after lengthy outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

The CEO of Georgia Power is apologizing after several airlines canceled flights on Sunday following an airport-wide p...

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 7:54 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 7:55 AM

The CEO of Georgia Power is apologizing after several airlines canceled flights on Sunday following an airport-wide power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power, issued an apology on Monday, saying the company will learn from what happened over the weekend.

"This impacted lives around the globe and for that, we are sorry," said Bowers. "There's going to be lessons learned around the United States as well as globally about service points coming into airports---making sure you have fire retardancy, if equipment does fail."

Although a definitive cause has not been established, according to Georgia Power officials, a piece of switchgear located in an underground electrical facility could have failed and started a fire.

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.

Power was restored to the facility around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday night.

FBI Atlanta released a statement regarding the matter on Tuesday, saying: "The FBI is working alongside Georgia Power, Atlanta Fire Rescue and ATF following logical leads into the fire that caused the power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Although it has not been ruled out, at this point there is no information to suggest there was any insider threat or nexus to terrorism."

As for the airlines, Delta issued travel waivers to customers flying to, from or through Atlanta. The airline says they canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights and diverted 48 flights to alternate airports Sunday. Delta's flight schedule returned to normal by Monday afternoon, however, the airline says it has temporarily embargoed travel for unaccompanied minors. Details are available at delta.com.

Southwest has also issued a travel waiver for cancellations on Sunday.

Mayor Kasim Reed held a press conference Sunday evening where he stated a Georgia International Convention Center has been mobilized. It can accommodate between 8,000 and 10,000 individuals.

On Monday, Reed said the city could've done a better job of communicating what was happening at the airport but he also said it would have been a huge mistake to overreact.

"There were folks who were saying that we should've immediately evacuated the airport and I completely disagree with that assessment based upon the information that we had," said Reed. "If we had given an evacuation order last night, there was a real chance that people would have become overly alarmed and in the dark more injuries would have occurred."

Mayor Reed says the biggest priority right now is getting everything up and running smoothly.

According to Flightware.com, the power outage has caused the following:

Total delays today at Hartsfield-Jackson Intl: 580

Total delays within, into, or out of the United States today at Hartsfield-Jackson Intl: 580

Total cancellations today at Hartsfield-Jackson Intl: 619

Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States today at Hartsfield-Jackson Intl: 619

As for the weather, a dense fog advisory remains in effect for much of west Georgia and metro Atlanta until 9 a.m. Tuesday morning Click here for more information on the advisory.

CBS46 morning anchor Amanda Davis was en route to Atlanta from Fort Worth, Texas via Delta Airlines when her flight was diverted to Little Rock due to the power outage at Harstfield-Jackson.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96677

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7143160
DeSoto559460
Harrison388374
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Madison331089
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Washington225977
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Pontotoc127816
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Scott117627
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Marshall110617
Lincoln110253
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Simpson104646
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Union99824
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Webster33813
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Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2273
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19676351
Mobile13373292
Montgomery8834184
Tuscaloosa8621118
Madison788178
Shelby597849
Lee589760
Baldwin547750
Marshall394343
Calhoun351544
Etowah349045
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Houston290321
Elmore266748
DeKalb241621
St. Clair232235
Walker231684
Talladega216629
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Franklin177129
Autauga176425
Russell17603
Lauderdale171333
Colbert164626
Blount161115
Escambia160824
Chilton158530
Jackson157511
Covington140127
Dale138644
Coffee13486
Pike119810
Chambers116442
Tallapoosa116085
Clarke109116
Marion96429
Butler91239
Barbour8827
Winston74412
Marengo72020
Pickens66214
Bibb65410
Lowndes65327
Randolph64713
Hale63528
Geneva6254
Lawrence62023
Cherokee60813
Bullock60414
Monroe5898
Clay5858
Washington55713
Perry5416
Crenshaw53732
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry5055
Macon48018
Fayette4578
Sumter43819
Cleburne3805
Lamar3672
Choctaw34712
Greene30315
Coosa1713
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