International flights were suspended into a flooded terminal at New York's flagship airport on Monday, flung into chaos after a water main broke during brutally cold temperatures following a deadly winter storm.
Water poured from the ceiling and the arrivals area was submerged by standing water, through which a few intrepid passengers picked their way gingerly, according to footage broadcast by CNN.
The west end of Terminal four lay under about three inches (eight centimeters) of water, where maintenance crews were mopping up, with police and fire crews on site, the spokesman told AFP.
The cause of the break is being investigated, he added.
On Saturday the airport was forced to close Terminal 1, which serves the likes of Air France, Japan Airlines and Lufthansa, to international arrivals in an attempt to get on top of the backlog.
But tempers have flared among furious travellers, forced to sleep on the floor of terminals, with others stranded on planes for hours waiting to access a gate and massive delays in baggage claim.
"I am so angry, words cannot even express how I feel right now," one stranded female traveler told NBC television before the water leak.
"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.