Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Water Main Break at JFK Airport Causes More Flight Delays

Water Main Break at JFK Airport Causes More Flight Delays

Domestic arrivals and departures continued after the pipe break with delays, and some global flights have been diverted to other terminals.

Part of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, which has been plagued by delays stranding thousands of passengers since Thursday's "Bomb Cyclone" winter storm, was evacuated Sunday afternoon following a massive water main break.

"The luggage pile just keeps growing", he posted on Instagram.

In a statement, The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey Saturday evening stated that they, along with the FAA, are "limiting some flights into JFK" and all worldwide arrivals into the airport's Terminal 1. Now the Port Authority is launching an investigation into how a water pipe that feeds the sprinkler system could burst and cause such huge problems. It also serves at Delta's worldwide hub.

Global flights to Terminal 4 have been suspended, he said. JFKIAT has operated T4 since 1997.

JFK had closed down on Thursday at 11 am when the storm hit and reopened on Friday at 7 am.

Several inches of water filled Terminal 4 on Sunday afternoon, and footage on social media showed workers scrambling to mop the terminal's soaked floors. Passengers were advised to contact their carriers in order to retrieve their bags.


"We will thoroughly investigate why the pipe burst", Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. Inbound flight delays at the airport were more than 2 1/2 hours early Sunday evening.

Amid the chaos on Saturday, countless passengers were stuck on planes on the tarmac or held up waiting for flights or their bags in the terminals for hours on end.

In a statement released before the water pipe break, the Port Authority said Saturday's cold "created a cascading series of issues for the airlines and terminal operators".

Cotton said Monday, "Gates were not made available to inbound global flights in a timely way, and the question on the table is why". Buses ferried in passengers to the terminal from 25 planes at Terminals 1 and 4.

Kuwait Airways said on Twitter that Flight 118 from NY to Kuwait was struck by the Chinese plane as it was parked before takeoff.

The China Southern plane didn't have any passengers at the time, according to the Port Authority.

Meanwhile, Jan Coates told The Independent: "Some of our family are just back from a fabulous holiday in NY over New Year". Kuwait Airways said all passengers and crew deplaned without incident. The taxiways and runways are operational, but the airlines are still trying to recover. It urged customers to check the status of their flights with airlines before arriving. Chuck Schumer is calling for a thorough review of what went wrong.

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