JFK airport packed with thousands of frustrated passengers after ‘cascading series of issues’

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QUEENS —JFK is almost back to normal – and that means long lines, delayed flights and thousands of frustrated passengers.

A Sunday water main break is the latest of a series of issues that have jammed up trips for travelers.

“No one tells us anything,” Monica Pierre, a passenger, told PIX11. “It’s been a long wait and we’re still waiting.”

Pierre, a Staten Island resident, had the bad luck to arrive at Terminal 4 at Kennedy Airport from a trip to Tobago at the exact same time a frozen water pipe burst on the west side of the terminal, sending water cascading through the terminal, forcing a partial evacuation as power and heat went out.

It was a flood of water and a flood of misfortune for thousands and thousands of passengers trying to retrieve their luggage and get home.

Terminal 4 is privately run and had already seen huge delays, chaos and confusion after Thursday’s shutdown because of the snowstorm and Friday’s subsequent reopening.

Port Authority called it a “cascading series of issues.” 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.

“We will thoroughly investigate why the pipe burst,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “It is thoroughly unacceptable.”

A little girl crying to go home echoes the feelings of thousands of weary travelers who just want to be reunited with their waiting luggage.

While international and domestic flights resumed at Terminal 4, the wait continues at baggage claim. Carmen Garcia of Brooklyn has been waiting five hours already to retrieve her luggage after a trip from Tobago.

“They told us to go home, but I am waiting here,” Garcia said.

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