Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Agency says it will hold 'parties accountable' for JFK flood

Published:Tuesday | January 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday it will investigate the water pipe break that added to the weather-related delays at Kennedy Airport and will "hold all responsible parties accountable".

The agency said there were still some delays yesterday, the day after a water pipe that feeds a sprinkler system in the privately operated Terminal 4 broke, causing water to flood the terminal and significantly disrupt operations.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said investigators want to determine "why an internal pipe was not weather-protected and whether any other failures contributed to this disruption.

"The Port Authority is committed to providing the highest calibre of service to all travellers and we will hold those responsible accountable for any shortcomings we find," he said.

The pipe break sent about three inches of water gushing on to the floor of the terminal. Video shows streams cascading from a ceiling and people slogging through pools of water.

Power to the affected areas was temporarily shut off for safety reasons, and additional staffing and busing operations were deployed to assist travelers, the Port Authority said.

The situation added to the misery piled on travellers after a winter storm blasted New York on Thursday. Passengers were kept on planes and waited hours to retrieve luggage as flights were delayed and cancelled, and a backup to get to terminal gates built up.

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

"These included frozen equipment breakdowns, difficulties in baggage handling, staff shortages and heavier-than-typical passenger loads," the statement said.

AP