Flooding at JFK airport adds to misery after flight delays

JFK flooded

A water main broke in a JFK International Airport terminal on Sunday, flooding a baggage claim area, according to CNN, adding to travelers' misfortunes at the airport this week.

"There are about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of water inside the west end of Terminal 4, we have maintenance crews on the scene mopping and cleaning up", Scott Ladd, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said in an email. Indeed, the delays reportedly continued, and that was before the water main broke in Terminal 4.

Full flight activity has resumed at JFK Airport's Terminal 4 after a water main break caused chaos and suspended worldwide arrivals.

PA chief Rick Cotton said investigators want to determine "why an internal pipe was not weather protected and whether any other failures contributed to this disruption". Seven global flights were at gate at the time of the incident, PANYNJ said, but passengers from the flights were able to deplane and were processed through customs.

As of Sunday night, more than 500 flights had been cancelled or delayed, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

"It's getting like a madhouse", traveler Steven Litvin told NBC New York. New York's JFK International Airport, as this weekend clearly demonstrated, is decidedly not one of those airports.

Tracking site Flightradar24 said at least 12 worldwide flights had been waiting around two to four hours for a gate to deplane.

Tired Avianca passengers wait for flights at Kennedy Airport Terminal 4 on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

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The airport's runways and taxiways were fully operational, the port authority said earlier Sunday, but airlines remain in recovery mode after the storm, and many hundreds of passengers are stranded from canceled flights.

Incoming global flights were especially hard hit.

Flight operations resumed Monday, with significantly fewer cancellations and delays reported.

A water pipe that wasn't protected from the weather broke and caused flooding at JFK's Terminal 4, shutting down arriving global flights.

"These included frozen equipment breakdowns, difficulties in baggage handling, staff shortages and heavier than typical passenger loads", it said. But hundreds of passengers' suitcases were soaked - including long-delayed luggage from last week's weather calamity. Senator Chuck Schumer said that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

"This was a family of five, and the older daughter was heading back to college in Denver, while the rest were coming to Indianapolis, so they thought she would have to wait until Monday", Hawkins said Sunday evening. All passengers were evacuated safely and no one was injured, the Port Authority said, though the collision made the delays even worse. "They said 'you're not going to get any luggage, so everyone has to get out of here".

Global airlines have committed to have baggage reunited by passengers in New York City by Tuesday morning, said Cotton. Ultimately, it's responsible. The Port Authority must not divert this flight.

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