NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A power outage at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 8 caused major headaches for passengers for hours on Tuesday.
The power went out before 2 p.m. It was restored around 8:30 p.m.
The outage came as mid-summer weather patterns were causing delays at JFK.
CBS2’s Lou Young reported that Terminal 8 at least had natural light streaming in so passengers could find their way to the door when the lights went out in the middle of a hot August afternoon. The outage shut down escalators, baggage carousels and computer terminals.
It began with a momentary interruption of power — not uncommon in summer months — but as the power was turned back on, two of four transformers at Terminal 8 overloaded. Thousands of air passengers were sent on an unscheduled adventure.
“I saw everybody coming out,” said passenger Hillary Wyner. “They were saying it was pitch black; they couldn’t see inside.”
Passenger David Patterson said, “There’s no AC, which helps too, you know, and there’s nobody to talk to because all the service places were empty.”
It’s been a rough few days at Terminal 8. Panic swept the place Sunday night following false reports of shots fired. Cops responded in force and passengers were evacuated.
Authorities traced the problem back to fans watching the Olympics reacting to an event on television.
Tuesday’s problem coincided with city-wide flight delays due to rough summer weather.
The baggage had to be manually screened and flights were canceled or delayed. In some cases, passengers were sent to a different airport.
“I was supposed to fly out of JFK about 9 p.m. and they transferred me to LaGuardia at 6 o’clock in the morning,” Wyner said. “I have no ground transportation, no hotel — I’m on my own.”
American Airlines urged passengers to get to the airport early and the airline is also offered alternate reservations.
The airline said it is unclear when the power outage occurred.
Anyone catching a flight or picking up passengers was advised to call ahead for possible delays.
There will be ripple effects into Wednesday.
Throughout the outage, computers continued to operate — with some planes going on their way. But those planes left without their passengers’ baggage, which was still sitting at the airport on Tuesday night.