JFK Airport water main break forces terminal evacuation amid massive delays

JFK Airport water main break forces terminal evacuation amid massive delays

On Sunday, a water main broke in JFK's Terminal 4, a major arrival point for global flights, flooding the baggage claim and forcing the airport to temporarily evacuate the terminal and shut down arrivals for four hours.

JFKIAT said January 8 the water main break on the west side of the arrivals hall impacted 10 incoming flights to T4, adding the terminal "was completely operational within four hours after the water main break as a result of JFKIAT working closely with local agencies and authorities as well as on-site emergency maintenance personnel".

Then, at 2 p.m. Sunday, a water pipe broke, sending about 3 inches of water gushing onto the floor of JFK's Terminal 4, forcing the airport to suspend its worldwide flight arrivals for a few hours.

"The pipe had frozen, so this appears to be directly weather-related", Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. The Port Authority dispatched buses to rescue passengers on 25 inbound flights at Terminals 1 and 4.

The Port Authority expects the operator of Terminal 4 to reopen the closed arrivals area around 7 p.m. Sunday, Cotton said.

The situation added to the misery piled on travelers after a winter storm blasted NY on Thursday. Video shows streams cascading from a ceiling and people slogging through pools of water.

The airport was experiencing arrival delays of more than two hours.

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Several passengers were stranded for hours at New York's JFK Airport reportedly as an effect of the "bomb cyclone" leading to halting of airplanes at the runways, earlier in the day on Saturday.

New Jersey and New York's port authority said there are so many flights that have been reschedueled since the snowstorm, they do not have enough gates to handle the reschedueled flights. Officials said 32 of those flights were global, and 38 were Delta. Flights later resumed but with delays, it said.

Making matters worse, the FDNY and Port Authority of NY and New Jersey responded to reports of a water main break in Terminal 4 just after 1:30 p.m. Sunda (Jan. 7). Senator Chuck Schumer said that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

"There are 300 passengers there and I should say they're becoming restless", he said.

The Port Authority believes the break may have been caused by the weather. Ultimately, it's responsible. The Port Authority must not divert this flight.

"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.

Worldwide terminal operators intend to reunite passengers still in New York City with lost baggage by Tuesday morning, he said.

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