Austin-Bergstrom airport faces power outage Wednesday morning, delaying flights

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Photo by Gabriel C. Perez/KUT

Thursday, September 8, 2022 by Haya Panjwani, KUT

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Austin-Bergstrom International Airport experienced a power outage Wednesday morning, delaying many flights for the rest of the day and causing airport roads to be closed.

The power went out around 4:30 a.m., according to airport spokesman Bailey Grimmett. Austin Energy was able to restore power shortly before 8 a.m.

Airport officials say travelers should check for changed flight schedules and be prepared for delays. The outage also delayed arrivals, according to Grimmett, who said some planes were redirected to San Antonio.

Austin Energy said an equipment malfunction caused the outage. But spokesman Luis Rivas said the utility did not know what led to the malfunction in the first place.

The outage forced the closure of roads at the airport, causing backflows along Highway 71. The roads leading to the airport were reopened around 9:50 a.m.

In a statement, US Representative Lloyd Doggett described the disruption as “truly intolerable”.

“With increasing demand, our airport faces many challenges, but the source of the horrific chaos this morning appears to have been an external power outage,” said Doggett, D-Austin. “Following its thorough investigation, Austin Energy must take action to ensure a fully functional backup system so this never happens again.”

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