Water Main Break Adds to Misery for Passengers at Kennedy Airport

Water Main Break Adds to Misery for Passengers at Kennedy Airport

Water Main Break Adds to Misery for Passengers at Kennedy Airport

Gushing water compounded meltdown at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where furious passengers have camped out for days as a result of equipment damaged by the storm and a backlog of flights.

The continuing chaos at the airport drew harsh condemnation from Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat of NY, who called Sunday for "a thorough review" of the airport and the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey to find out what went wrong, especially since Thursday's storm had not come as a surprise. The FAA said Sunday afternoon that the average flight delay was more than 81 minutes at JFK Airport.

It was unclear what caused the water problem, which sent about 3 inches of water into the terminal's west end. Water poured into public areas and service areas, including a baggage handling area.

Terminal 4 is used by more than 30 airlines, including Air India, China Airlines, Delta, Egyptair, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, KLM Royal Dutch, Singapore Airlines, Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic.

Terminal 4 is "the major gateway for global arrivals at JFK airport".

Following the storm, which blasted NY on Thursday, passengers were kept on planes and waited hours to retrieve luggage as flights were delayed and canceled, and a backup to get to terminal gates built up.

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"It's getting like a madhouse", traveler Steven Litvin told NBC, leaving with his wife eight hours after their plane landed - with only half their luggage. Flights later resumed but with delays, it said.

"We're exhausted", he said.

More than 500 flights into or out of JFK were canceled and almost 1,400 delayed from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. "We're frustrated. We didn't get any sleep and we still don't know where our bags are".

Teacher Jessica Holden, who was returning to NY on a Thomas Cook flight from Manchester, England, said: 'The fight was due to land at 1.55pm, it touched down at 4pm but we were sat on tarmac until 6pm.

The flooding hit just as the airport was crawling back to normal after a winter storm labeled a "bomb cyclone" forced the airport to close on Thursday.

The bitter cold is forecast to remain on the East Coast Sunday with highs below freezing as far south as parts of North Carolina.

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