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Power Outage Causes Delays At TIA

Updated:
Airline travelers have a tough time at the Tulsa International Airport on Thursday. The airport lost a third of its power Wednesday night, and the airport spent all day Thursday with no air-conditioning and limited baggage conveyors. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports a power surge burned up a large electrical switch that controls power to the airport, and that had some tempers burning.

The muggy Thursday morning had some people gasping for air at the Tulsa International Airport.

"Wait in line down there again, come back up here, now wait in this long line. And they have no power and then I had to wait longer because they can't e-check in or anything, and now I'm burning up hot," airline traveler Christine Gillett said.

"It's a little muggy. We feel very fortunate that it's cloudy and that with the rain came a little bit cooler air," said Airport Spokesperson Alexis Higgins.

Alexis Higgins says it’s a switch that caused all the problems. Airport officials say it's basically a giant circuit breaker, protecting equipment during a power surge. Normally it would be able to be reset after a surge, but this time it was damaged. But this isn’t an off the shelf part, it’s 30-years-old and no longer manufactured, so it’s being made, from scratch, by an out-of-state company.

"We're having to manufacture a duplicate part. It's not like a part that you can go and buy off a store shelf," Higgins said.

Originally airport authorities feared it would take two weeks to get the replacement part, which would have posed a huge headache with the Memorial Day weekend. But now it looks like the part will arrive Thursday evening, and passengers will only have to rough it for a few more hours.

"It's kind of bad timing, but what can you do? You just have to grin and bear it and enjoy the lines, I guess," airline traveler Cameron Weaver said.

The airport brought in a generator to run the bare necessities like lighting and computers, but it is not running the less vital amenities like air-conditioning and escalators. Airport officials say they expect to be back to full power a little after midnight, just in time for the big Memorial Day rush.

Watch the video: Power Outage At Tulsa International Airport


WEB EXTRA: Tulsa International Airport Director Jeff Mulder Talks About Power Outage Problems

For the latest information about delays at Tulsa International Airport, visit www.tulsaairports.com. You can also see a live picture with a News On 6 SKYCAM network camera on top of Fine Airport Parking at Tulsa International Airport.
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