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After Power Outage, Midway Delays To Spill Into Weekend

Nearly 90 flights were canceled after a power outage at Midway Airport. (CBS)

Nearly 90 flights were canceled after a power outage at Midway Airport. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A power outage on Midway’s airfield grounded dozens of flights and hundreds of passengers. The outage lasted for four hours.

At CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports, delays will be spilling into the weekend.

The power went out around 8:30 Thursday night, and wasn’t fixed until almost 1:30 a.m. Friday.

ComEd, who worked to fix the outage, says the problem was not on its end, but caused by a piece of electrical equipment owned by Midway.

Officials with the Chicago Department of Aviation say they’re still investigating the cause.

Passengers worked to find the best place to lay their heads at Midway Airport.

Julie Muir found a spot right outside the baggage claim area. Muir was stuck at the airport after her flight was canceled Thursday night.

“Believe it or not, I found a really quiet area,” said Muir.

Muir was in good spirits when CBS 2 caught up to her, 19 hours into her stay at Midway.

The Southwest Airlines passenger says she waited in line for nearly three hours last night just to re-book her flight, after learning her original one was canceled.

She soon learned all flights to Portland on Friday were booked.

“I’m leaving Saturday at 8:30 in the morning,” said Muir.

This has been a nightmare for Bill and Charity Surette, who were trying to catch a connecting flight to Boston for their grandson’s first birthday.

“We sat out on the runway for two, two and a half hours,” said Bill Surette who says his plane was second in line for take-off before the flight was canceled.

The couple booked a second flight for Friday morning, which turned out to be false hope, since that flight was canceled just before take-off.

“The pilot says we have a mechanical problem, we have to go back to the gate,” said Bill Surette.

Midway officials tell CBS, 85 flights were affected by Thursday night’s power outage, most of which were Southwest flights, causing cancellations and rerouting.

Cots were rolled out for more than 600 passengers who stayed in the terminal overnight.

Loads of unclaimed luggage piled up at Midway, while passengers like Muir say they weren’t allowed to pull checked bags, and their goods flew without them.

“I feel like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Muir.

CBS 2 also talked to passengers who were on flights scheduled for Friday, who say last night’s ordeal created big delays for them as well.

To add insult to injury, the storms that have passed through the area this afternoon, created even more delays for passengers still trying to get to their destination.

It will take through part of the weekend for the effected airlines to get back to normal.