Family home in Kansas after stranded in Atlanta airport power outage

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

It's a trip Heather Dillon thought would never end.

"It was a nightmare," Dillon said.

She and her daughter were on their way back to Wichita from Germany to visit her parents for Christmas when the power went out at the Atlanta airport on Sunday.

"As we were taxiing the pilot came on and said that there was gonna be a delay and that they were having some sort of electrical issue at the terminal,” Dillon said.

Investigators say a fire knocked out the power. The outage left thousands of travelers stranded in the world's busiest airport.

Dillon and her daughter were sitting on the tarmac for 5 hours.

"About every thirty minutes he would get back on and give us a worse update each time. And it was pushed back an hour, another hour and then it was another two hours and then it was maybe by midnight,” Dillon said.

They had no idea what was happening. And didn't know when they would be able to make it back to Kansas.

"All the hotels were completely booked out for about a 30-mile radius so my daughter and I slept on the nice, cold, hard floor. Trying to find a warm spot and an electrical outlet, which was very hard to come by,” Dillon said.

After a long night, the blackout was finally over.  The Dillon’s found a flight and made it home to Kansas after their 31-hour trip, one they will never forget.

"Lots of hugs, lots of prayers answered honestly, just overall sense of relief. Very fatigued. Trying to just keep a positive spirit and realize that it was a rough ordeal but we got through it and just count our blessings and make the best of a rough situation,” Dillon said.

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