Flooding at JFK airport adds to misery after flight delays

Mobile lounges work to get passengers off of an Aeroflot flight

The eastern United States and Canada shivered under record-breaking low temperatures Saturday as Arctic blasts followed a deadly winter storm that left airports struggling to cope with the backlog of flights.

Equipment froze and baggage handling was delayed, which was compounded by staff shortages and heavier than normal passenger loads, the Port Authority said.

Officials said the water main break occurred just before 2 p.m. and there was about 3 inches of water inside the west end of Terminal 4.

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Abrams video showed water on the ground in the arrivals area of the terminal and the chaos as travelers attempted a mass exodus from the airport.

Ninety-four flights were cancelled at JFK on Saturday and 17 diverted, as the extreme cold and storm recovery "created a cascading series of issues", said the Port Authority.

As of Sunday afternoon, almost 50 flights were cancelled and more than 300 flights were delayed arriving and departing the airport, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

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"It's getting like a madhouse", traveler Steven Litvin told NBC New York. You have little kids, you have animals. "We're frustrated. We didn't get any sleep and we still don't know where our bags are".

The airline Virgin Atlantic tweeted in the early morning hours Sunday that police were called to a "disturbance" at a gate they were sharing with another airline after a flight was cancelled.

Gemma Bond, who is from the United Kingdom and was visiting New York City for a vacation, said: 'After my flight being cancelled due to JFK's closure I was very lucky to get on a later flight today which had us land at JFK at 5.50pm local time, you could see the airport and runways had masses of back log and that this wasn't going to be a quick exit. 12 global flights arrived during the time of the break - all have now been de-planed and processed through customs.

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