Downtown power outage keeps 5,000 federal workers home

Updated:

ATLANTA - Crews are working around the clock to repair an electrical issue that shut down federal complex in downtown Atlanta.

The U.S. General Services Administration announced the entire Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center will be shut down through Friday due to the electrical issue. 

The power has been out in the building since the weekend, after an electrical system malfunction cut power to the building’s chillers and electrical grid.  The GSA blamed the outage on a downed conduit.

The complex houses dozens of federal agencies and nearly 5,000 workers. 

Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant was at the complex as workers arrived to pick up laptops and office items after getting a briefing from their safety officer. 

“The federal government has been very aggressive with continuity programs, continuity operations since 9/11,” said Department of Labor worker Jeff Thomas. “We practice this on a regular basis. Employees are prepared to work from home or alternate locations and we obviously have to do that at this point.” 

According to a statement from the GSA, the problem is being addressed:

“Crews have worked around the clock to determine the full extent of damage and pivot the facility toward full recovery. We continue to work aggressively to restore operations while emphasizing safety and security.”

Mellissa Wrench was scheduled for an appointment in the complex with the Social Security Administration on Tuesday. She was told that the building was closed.  

“I tried calling the office I have an appointment at, but no one answered,” she said. “I’m going to try back tomorrow and then just come back down and see if I can complete my appointment.”

The GSA is advising visitors with meetings at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to make other arrangements with their contacts.  The GSA said employees will be updated through phone and email.