Atlanta's airport power outage keeps Rochesterians stuck in the south

Thousands are stranded at the Atlanta Airport due to a power outage. (AP photo)

Atlanta (13WHAM) - An apparent fire caused a power outage at the world's busiest airport on Sunday. The outages forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and left thousands of travelers stranded inside terminals and on the tarmac.

Several of those stranded are Rochester-natives. Erin Williams was returning from a work trip in Cincinnati. She landed in Atlanta just before 2 p.m., not long after power went out.

13WHAM spoke to Williams on the phone around 6:30 p.m. Sunday as she sat on her plane.

"We've gotten our rations of pretzels and potato chips," she joked.

Williams sat on the plane for around six hours, which she preferred compared to sitting inside the terminal.

"Everybody seems to be in good spirits because I think we know we're better off here on this plane than inside the terminal," said Williams. "Here we have power, I'm able to charge my phone."

Her view from the plane was that of a dark, primarily unlit airport, with scores of planes sitting on the ground, and many more stranded travelers crowded inside the airport.

"It is completely dark inside, it is creepy actually looking outside right now because the entire terminal is black," said Williams.

Williams said no one had a clue as to when they are leaving Atlanta.

"We have no idea, we have no idea," said Williams. "Nobody has any idea," said Williams. "It's so dark here, except for lights on the runway, besides those, and the emergency lights I'm seeing, it's like I'm in Maine, and I can see stars in the sky."

Albeit a frustrating travel day, for Williams and others on her plane, it wasn't all bad.

"People are chatting, getting to know each other," said Williams. "We're all in the same boat."

Williams eventually left the airport before 10 p.m., as she was able to get a hold of a friend to stay the night with.

As of 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Williams says she was able to get a 9:30 p.m. flight out of Atlanta on Monday.

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