Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

JFK still a mess after water main break

US winter storm causes travel headaches at NY airport JFK still a mess after water main break
Nellie Chapman | 12 January, 2018, 19:26

A water pipe broke Sunday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, adding more delays at the airport which is still working to recover from Winter Storm Grayson.

Port Authority spokesman Scott Ladd said about 3 inches of water was inside the west end of Terminal 4 and that maintenance crews were on scene, along with the Port Authority Police Department and FDNY.

The Port Authority said there would be no worldwide arrivals for some time due to the flood, though global departure were not affected.

"What occurred this weekend is completely and totally unacceptable", Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a press conference Monday afternoon. Some global flights destined for Terminal 4 were diverted or accommodated at other JFK terminals. The authority said it will "hold those responsible accountable for any shortcomings we find". The terminal was reopened for arrivals Sunday night, according to WABC.

Images from a CNN report showed standing water in Terminal 4 in the busy NY hub.

The terminal was partially evacuated after the leak and was closed to global flights on Sunday.

Water poured from the ceiling into a check-in counter and covered a large swath of the floor of Terminal 4, according to live footage from CNN. Passengers inside the airport were left to deal with long delays, while some struggled to get information about their flights.

In other odd John F. Kennedy Airport news, an American Airlines flight that departed on Friday afternoon was forced to return immediately after takeoff.

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. As of Monday morning, domestic and worldwide flights are running with delays. "These included frozen equipment breakdowns, difficulties in baggage handling, staff shortages, and heavier than typical passenger loads".

The Port Authority says a water pipe that feeds the terminal's sprinkler system broke at about 2 p.m. Sunday, causing water to flood the terminal.

"There's still like a hundred people waiting for their luggage", he told AFP.

The Port Authority tried to diffuse the anger of JFK patrons by releasing the following statement.

While worldwide and domestic flights resumed at Terminal 4, the wait continues at baggage claim. "It's insane, it's unbelievable", he said.

"I just hope I can get my luggage", Papasin said. The baggage situation has become dire as Rachel Greene continues to wait for her luggage since four in the morning.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY said JFK officials should have foreseen some of the problems. The airline said it was working with authorities in NY to investigate.