The outage affected air traffic control. The airport tweeted around 10:40 p.m. that flights were operating but that boarding and deplaning was slow since the power outage was affecting mechanical systems.
One of the generators did start smoking at one point, bringing firefighters to the scene, but it was resolved.
“Dominion Power is working understand the root cause of that power disruption,” said Andrew Trull, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, who added that Wednesday’s loss of power was “an absolutely rarity” for the city’s main airport.
On social media, passengers wrote about being personally handed their luggage by airport personnel due to the loss of baggage carousels. Others tweeted about having to navigate a busy terminal in the dark.
Baggage claim can’t do anything to help find luggage or take claims at the airport because all their computers are down. “Call the 800 number,” the American Airlines woman said. “There’s nothing else I can tell you”