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Chaos as JFK Airport evacuated after flooding

12 January 2018

The pipe break sent about three inches (eight centimeters) of water gushing onto the floor of the terminal.

The Port Authority said the water pipe break appears to be weather-related.

The water main broke about 1:30 Terminal 4, which was later evacuated and had to be shutdown to worldwide flights, according to the airport and CNN.

The Port Authority said on Sunday that the airport's runways and taxiways were "fully operational" following Saturday's problems, but that the airlines themselves were still in "recovery mode", as the cold weather was still leading to equipment failures and operational slowdowns. Global arrivals to Terminals 1 and 4 were particularly hard-hit, stranding many passengers in their planes; buses eventually had to be used to get people off of 25 planes. The authority said it will "hold those responsible accountable for any shortcomings we find".

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The Port Authority expects the operator of Terminal 4 to reopen the closed arrivals area around 7 p.m. Sunday, Cotton said. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees transportation services and facilities in the New York City area, including JFK airport. Many flights still in the air were diverted to other airports, including Boston.

Yesterday, two airplanes - a China Southern and a Kuwait Airways - collided at JFK International Airport amid delays caused by a winter storm. Scores of flights have been rescheduled since Thursday, leaving hundreds of travellers stranded.

Passengers at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport Terminal 4 wait for flights, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

Frozen equipment, luggage-handling problems and staff shortages slowed down operations on the ground. Departing worldwide flights continued, but with delays, as were domestic arrivals and departures from T4, also with delays.

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The official Twitter account for the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey tweeted news of the break, which also led to a shutdown of global arrivals into Terminal 4. But hundreds of passengers' suitcases were soaked - including long-delayed luggage from last week's weather calamity.

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

"The primary problem appears to be worldwide airlines arriving without available gates at the global terminals, but we will thoroughly review all aspects of what happened leading up to and during the snowstorm", Cotton said. A total of 4,773 flights were delayed into or out of the U.S. Saturday and another 5,665 were delayed Sunday, according to FlightAware.

"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. And you can't tell me when I'm going to get home. The airline said it was working with authorities in NY to investigate.

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Chaos as JFK Airport evacuated after flooding