A power outage grounded several flights this morning at the Buffalo Airport, causing flight delays which were said to be unexplained. It seems the reason for the whole problem was something most people wouldn’t consider a problem.
Flight delays can ruin anyone’s day, especially when they depend on more than one plane to get them where they’re going. That two hours could leave you barely enough time to race to the gate for the connecting flight, often resulting in a three or four hour flight taking half of your day. Combine this with sometimes busy airports like the ones in Las Vegas and Buffalo, and the problem can escalate quickly.
On Friday morning, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport terminal fell victim to a power outage. The source of the outage was traced to a power substation in Cheektowaga in the area of Genesee Street. It was said on Buffalo News that a squirrel had gotten into the substation.
WGRZ, however, reports Cheektowaga Police saying that a squirrel had climbed up on a power line and been electrocuted for its shenanigans.
A pesky squirrel was the cause of a brief power outage at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport this morning. https://t.co/eihJC3dJwW
— WGRZ (@WGRZ) August 19, 2016
The outage also affected traffic lights in the area, not only causing flight delays due to the lack of runway lighting and communication, but also throwing part of New York into gridlock. With so many tourists and heavy traffic, the Buffalo area is frustrating enough to navigate. The idea that a squirrel threw everything into a crawl might have gotten a chuckle from those who weren’t frustrated that their commute may have cost them precious time.
JUST IN: A squirrel in a substation knocked out power for 25 people near the #Buffalo Airport. The airport has power.
— News 4, WIVB-TV (@news4buffalo) August 19, 2016
New York State Electric and Gas made it official on their website that 25 individual customers, including over a dozen on Genesee Street, had lost power. The website did not, however, state what had caused the outage.
Police had directed traffic until the power came back on about two hours later. The incident caused a widespread annoyance from around 9:45am to just before noon.
The issue could have been much worse, like it was for Delta Airlines, whose computer problems about a week ago had caused flight delays sometimes lasting days. The frustration was so widespread that they would have wished it was just a squirrel going where it shouldn’t and causing a power outage. Customers had screamed at gate agents, and conspiracy theories arose from the true cause. Some claimed it was an outside hack which brought the whole system down.
Airlines from Las Vegas to Atlanta were affected by the Delta outage, and the company wasn’t saying anything about why it happened. People had been forced to take to social media and speculate, leading to the Delta hashtag on Twitter. Delta eventually posted on their Twitter account that the power outage was being fixed. They added that flights were slowly getting back on schedule, but anyone expecting to catch a plane through their service should expect flight delays.
The Delta power outage was much worse than the one at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport this morning, and the people caught by the flight delays today can at least have a chuckle at the reported cause of it all.
When authorities are blaming an airport power outage on a squirrel, it’s almost a joke if those affected aren’t too upset.
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[Feature image via Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock.com]