Airlines scramble after Midway Airport power outage

June 29, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The power went out at Midway Airport for about four hours on Thursday, stranding hundreds of travelers on 85 flights that were either delayed, diverted or canceled. Airline officials scrambled Friday morning to get them re-booked.

"I'm trying to see my daughter in Indianapolis. And here I am. I spent the night on a cot," Doug Taylor said.

"I've been here since 6 o'clock last night. It's horrible," Amber Doherty said.

Aviation officials say the issue was with an airfield lighting vault, and that led to the loss of power to runway lights. ComEd crews that are helping to figure out the problem say all their equipment was working, so it appears to be an issue with Midway equipment.

"It's an uncontrollable. We didn't know what happened. It just is what it is and you just gotta stick it out," Carolyn Mitchell said.

Grace McWhorter has been traveling since Thursday. She was headed to her sister's burial, which she'll miss because of the delays.

"There's no words for it. She was my oldest sister," Grace McWhorter said. "Her interment is at 11 o'clock and I won't get to Birmingham until 10:30. And the interment is in our regional home of Morengo County, which is still another 2 hours away. So I won't get to see her burial."

Jean Field can't get a flight out to Norfolk until Saturday.

"My medications and everything else that I have on this trip are in the suitcases and we can't get them," Field said.

Based on initial assessments, ComEd officials say all of its equipment was performing smoothly and that this was likely a Midway equipment problem.

To add to the delays from the power outage, Midway officials warn that storms moving through the Chicagoland area on Friday could lead to more problems. Travelers should allow for plenty of time.

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