Water Main Break at JFK Airport Floods Baggage Claim Area, Shuts Down International Flights

KTLA | 1/7/2018 | CNN Wire
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A water main break flooded a baggage claim area at JFK International Airport in New York on Sunday afternoon, compounding flight cancellations and other headaches caused by the cold wave.

Water flowed into Terminal 4, soaking stranded travelers’ luggage and forcing a partial evacuation of the terminal, the major arrival point for international travelers. Incoming flights to Terminal 4 were shut down for several hours.

Inches - Water - Arrivals - Customs - Areas

Up to 3 inches of water formed in the arrivals and customs inspection areas of the terminal and then flowed outside onto a roadway, which was closed because of icing, Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said at a news conference. He said the arrivals area and customs office should reopen within several hours.

“The volume of water severely compromised all the operations,” Cotton said, adding that delays could last for days.

Airport - Travelers - Flights - Cold - East

The airport was already jammed with frustrated travelers whose flights were delayed or canceled by the bitter cold that has gripped the East Coast for days.

Passengers reported spending hours sitting on the tarmac before deplaning, then spending hours and sometimes days inside the terminal waiting for flights. Luggage covered large sections of the airport floor.

Andrew - Westrem - Home - New - York

“It’s very hectic,” said Andrew Westrem, 28, who traveled home to New York from Los Angeles. “I see other people upset but there’s not much you can do. You’re at the mercy of weather.”

He has a flight to Europe on Monday and hoped to be reunited with his bags before that.

Reygie - Papasin - Philippines - Miami - Monday

Reygie Papasin, 32, arrived from the Philippines and is scheduled to fly to Miami on Monday. When asked what he plans to do, Papasin said, “I just hope I can get my luggage.” This is his first time in the United States.

The temperature was around 15 degrees when the flooding started about 1:30 p.m. Video showed standing water in a large section of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: KTLA
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