Lightning Strikes Cause Airport, Passengers Headaches Following Fuel Farm Outage

David Creed •

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The Nantucket Memorial Airport's fuel farm was knocked offline by lightning strikes Saturday. The problem was finally resolved at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, over 18 hours later. Assistant Airport Manager Noah Karberg told the Current that the issue was with the main control board, which needed to be replaced.

Karberg said the airport would lose approximately $7,000 per hour as long as the problem continued. For most of Saturday, the airport and maintenance workers were unable to locate the problem, but presumed that it was an issue with the control board and an internal communication issue that caused their farm to go offline.

"The problem we are having is that we are unable to pump from the farm to our mobile refuelers, which are the 5,000 gallon trucks we drive around to get the fuel to the aircraft," Karberg told the Current on Saturday.

While the airport worked to address the issues, they were advising aircraft coming to and from the airport to tanker, which means to bring in the extra fuel they need in order to get to their next destination. This caused delays to the system, with several passengers messaging the Current on Instagram to express the impact these fuel farm issues were having on passengers during one of the airport's busiest weekends of the year.

Fuel sales were still available for MedFlights and emergencies only. 100 Low Lead fuel sales were restricted to scheduled commercial airlines only.

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