Electrical damage at ABIA leads to cancellations, delays

AUSTIN, Texas— Bad weather across central Texas caused major flooding problems at Austin Bergstrom International Airport leading to electrical failures.

Airport officials explained that heavy rains Friday damaged their equipment—the air traffic control tower and the radar approach facility— meaning air traffic controllers at the Austin airport are currently not able to direct the aircraft and can only provide limited services.

No control out of Austin only means it is all being controlled from Houston.

Houston normally controls high altitude traffic over the Austin area, and they are now taking over directing all flights in and out of the Austin airport.

Airport officials said repairs to the facility are going to take some time.

The FAA is evaluating options for providing longer term radar services for lower-altitude aircrafts from another facility. Meantime, the agency is bringing in a portable air traffic control tower from storage in Kansas City.

That temporary tower should be in Austin sometime late Saturday and is expected to be up and working by Monday, according to airport officials.

For safety reasons, the FAA has increased spacing between aircrafts, meaning delays and cancellations.

Many travelers were stranded at ABIA Friday night. Among them, passenger Matt Dove, who says he has an early flight Saturday, so he's just sleeping at the airport. 

"Rain just came in and before you know it one flight, five flights, 10 flights all canceled. Might as well stick it out and cross it off my bucket list, and say I slept at an airport," he said. 

All passengers traveling this weekend should call their airlines to check for delays and cancelations.

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