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05-22-11, 11:30 AM #1
Power Outage at MSP Cancels Hundreds of Flights
Power restored to 3 MSP airport concourses; Delta passengers frustrated, restless - TwinCities.com
We just can't stay out of the damn news At least I got 4 hours of in-early OT out of the deal last night
Power restored to 3 MSP airport concourses; Delta passengers frustrated, restless
By Rachel Wedlund
Updated: 05/21/2011 11:10:34 PM CDT
Doomsday did not rear its head Saturday - contrary to publicized warnings of apocalypse believers - but it was a difficult day for anyone trying to fly in or out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
An 8 a.m. power outage at the airport affected 63 gates, causing flights in and out of the main terminal to be delayed and canceled. The loss of power meant airport officials had to use mobile staircases and buses in place of electricity-dependent jet bridges at four concourses well into the evening. By early Saturday evening, power was restored to three of the concourses, airport officials said. A spokeswoman for Delta said more than 250 Delta flights and Delta connection carriers had been canceled as of 8:30 p.m. Saturday. It was unknown exactly how many passengers had been affected.
"We're working to accommodate passengers as needed, with hotel and meal vouchers and flight rescheduling," Betsy Talton said.
Neither the cause of the outage nor the number of flights or passengers affected was known as of Saturday evening, but a spokeswoman for Xcel Energy said the problem was with the airport's electrical grid. "Our system is working fine. Once it gets to the airport, it's something wrong with their system," Mary Sandok said. "We're out there assisting them, trying to get things back up and running, but ultimately it's a problem out there."
Airport spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski said the power failure, which is under investigation, affected only Delta Air Lines and its regional affiliates. "We are using backup generators only for our safety systems right now," she said. "We are hoping the power will be back up" late Saturday.
Many passengers, expected to be stranded overnight, scurried to rebook flights or make hotel reservations Saturday. Others decided to take to the roads. One such traveler, Nathan Stumme, decided to call for a ride back to his college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, rather than wait until this morning to fly back. He was among 19 students headed home from a two-week New York City theater trip whose connecting flight landed in the Twin Cities about noon. "I figured it's a three-hour car ride back to college, and we've already been sitting here for five," Stumme said.
Tim Scheid of New Brighton was stalled for several hours at the airport, en route to Buffalo, N.Y., with his wife and two young daughters. "It's frustrating because there seems to be zero communication," Scheid said. "I checked online before I left, and it said the flight was on time....If they knew about this at 8 a.m., a heads-up would have been nice," he said, while trying to keep the girls, ages 5 and 2, entertained with a snack.
Alongside passengers with restless children waiting it out in the ticketing area Saturday were several school groups. A group of 23 students from a southern California middle school hoped to make it to Philadelphia by early this morning, where they planned to spend just one day before going on to Washington, D.C.
"When are we going to be there?" one eighth-grader asked a chaperone.
She responded that she would let him know when she found her crystal ball.
Will Ashenmacher contributed to this report.
The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.
05-22-11, 11:33 AM #2
There's a doomsday joke in here somewhere....
05-22-11, 02:03 PM #3
Sounds like a good day to not be workingAlpha Phi Sigma Alum - Alpha Delta Chapter
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