New York's JFK Airport flooded after water pipe breaks; worsens flight delays already caused by cold weather

New York: Flooding from a water main break forced the temporary suspension of some flights at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport on Sunday, adding to the misery of travellers after a winter storm cancelled or delayed hundreds of flights in recent days.

Water poured from the ceiling onto a check-in counter and covered large areas of the floor of Terminal 4, video on CNN showed. The disruption occurred while the US Northeast continued to endure bone-chilling weather with the New York temperature at 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 Celsius).

International flights to Terminal 4 were temporarily suspended and passengers who had already arrived there were diverted to other terminals, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

A worker at New York's JFK airport tries to dry off the water. Reuters

A worker at New York's JFK airport tries to dry off the water. Reuters

The Port Authority said the water pipe break appears to be weather related. Flights later resumed but with delays, it said. “What happened at JFK Airport is unacceptable, and travellers expect and deserve better,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement.

The authority said a water pipe that feeds the terminal’s sprinkler system broke, which caused flooding and a led to a temporary power cut in some areas as a safety measure. The airport on Twitter advised travellers to check with their airlines before arriving. There was about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of water inside the west end of Terminal 4, Scott Ladd, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said in an email.

The flooding hit just as the airport was crawling back to normal after a winter storm labelled a “bomb cyclone” forced the airport to close on Thursday. When operations resumed on Friday, the backlog led to hundreds more delays or cancellations, crowding the terminals with stranded passengers.

More than 500 flights into or out of JFK were cancelled and nearly 1,400 delayed from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

The extreme cold and recovery from Thursday’s snow storm created a “cascading series of issues for the airlines and terminal operators,” the Port Authority said.

Equipment froze and baggage handling was delayed, which was compounded by staff shortages and heavier than normal passenger loads, the Port Authority said. The backlog left passengers stuck on planes for long stretches while waiting for other aircraft to get in and out of gates.


Updated Date: Jan 08, 2018 10:20 AM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: India’s top lifestyle bloggers share their trade secrets on the latest episode
  • Friday, July 27, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Reviewing Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Fallout in 10 questions
  • Friday, August 10, 2018 It's a Wrap: Fanney Khan stars Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Pihu Sand in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Wednesday, August 15, 2018 Partition's real cost: Sonam Kalra revisits accounts of separation, loss in a spellbinding performance
  • Monday, August 13, 2018 Asian Games 2018: How Indian women's hockey team moved on from heartbreak at London World Cup

Also See