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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Patty Davis Discusses Black Outs Affect On Air Travel

Aired August 14, 2003 - 19:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: One of the domino effects, if you will, of all this, a massive backup, slow-down and stoppage in our nation's transportation system, especially air travel. For an update on some progress, apparently, in getting that back up and running, Patty Davis here in Washington.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the New York Port Authority tells us that the three New York airports are back up and running, presumably on backup power. Now, they do say that -- actually, Continental just recently called me and said, in fact, that they are now able to get some flights out of Newark Airport. They just pushed off a flight to Rome. So they say that Newark seems to be getting back to normal.

But we do still have problems at other airports around the country, including Detroit, Cleveland, also Toronto and Ottawa. Problems at those airports. Also, the Transportation Security Administration says that at the affected airports, they're still not screening bags. Obviously, you need electricity to screen those bags. It's just not able to get that job done, at this point, so passengers are not being allowed to get through to the gate area to get to the plane.

Now, the FAA says, meanwhile, that there are ground stops still in place at those three New York airports, also Detroit, Cleveland. They say Toronto and Ottawa, as well. Now, what that means is that no flights are allowed to depart from other airports to come into those affected airports. So although you may see flights taking off from JFK or Newark, you're not going to necessarily see flights coming in because the FAA currently has a ground stop in place at those airports at least until 8:00. Officials say that that could even extend through midnight.

Now, as for rail transportation, Amtrak is telling us that it is not operating north of Philadelphia to New York City. That is because the signal system north and south of New York's Penn Station is not operational right now. Also, problems in Michigan between Detroit, Pontiac and Dearborn.

Now, getting back to the airline issue, the FAA is telling you, call your airline because there may be some airlines having even problems into tomorrow on this. So make sure you call your airline before you head to the airport -- John.

KING: Thank you very much, Patty Davis here in Washington, tracking that transportation element of this.

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