Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2018 Contents A10 news
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
NEW YORK—Caribbean nationals are among
scores of passengers that are expecting long
delays after John F Kennedy ( JFK) Interna-
tional Airport in New York tries to “dig out”
from last Thursday’s winter storm.
Scores of rescheduled flights, damaged
equipment and other lingering effects of the
winter storm have combined to create long
delays for passengers at JFK and forced US
federal officials to limit some flights into the
airport on the weekend.
Adeola Dorris just wanted to go home to
Guyana, but, instead, she was standing among
other stranded passengers amid stacks and
stacks of luggage at JFK Sunday afternoon.
Dorris, 40, an accountant who arrived at
the airport Saturday night, had no idea when
her connecting flight would leave.
“When the flight was suspended, I literally
cried,” she said. “Because I’m here alone, and
I have nowhere to go. And you can’t tell me
when I’m going to get home. And I have to
On Sunday, JFK remained in disarray – three
days after New York City’s first major snow-
storm of 2018 disrupted operations.
Since the storm, a lingering, bone-chilling
cold and a series of missteps have contributed
to a logjam that has left thousands of travelers
stranded and caused hundreds of flights to be
canceled or diverted.
As a result, the disorder at JFK, one of the
world’s busiest airports, rippled across the
world, affecting passengers as far away as Bei-
Flights headed to New York were forced to
turn back, and connecting flights that were
only supposed to bring passengers to New
York for a brief stay were grounded indefi-
On Sunday, just as there were signs that
things were finally improving, a water main
break in a terminal plunged the airport back
into chaos – flooding sections of Terminal 4.
This compounded the confusion that had
gripped parts of JFK all weekend, as airlines
tried to rebound from the cancellation of
thousands of flights because of the storm.
Officials of the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey, which operates JFK, were still
trying to sort out what had gone wrong on Sat-
urday when they had to scramble on Sunday
to cope with the burst pipe.
Rick Cotton, the executive director of the
Port Authority, said he was ordering an inves-
tigation of the water main break and the con-
tinuing flight problems.
He emphasized that the terminal with the
flooding was operated by a private company,
not the Port Authority.
For the second day in a row, the Port Au-
thority had to ask US federal aviation officials
to block some international flights from land-
ing at JFK, the Times said.
It said that order would add to the two
dozen flights that had been diverted to other
airports since Saturday.
The protracted chaos at JFK drew harsh
condemnation from US Senator Chuck
Schumer, who called for “a thorough review”
of the airport and the Port Authority to find
out what went wrong, especially since Thurs-
day’s storm had not come as a surprise.
“They should have been way better pre-
pared, plain and simple,” he said. “JFK has to
follow the Boy Scouts’ motto: ‘Be prepared.’
They weren’t.” (CMC)
A partygoer needs no assistance to enjoy a good wine at Zele Cooler Fete, Mendez Drive, Diego
Martin, on Sunday evening. PICTURE DAVID WEARS
ODPM Head: Office facing
RADHICA DE SILVA
In anticipation of projected wetter than
usual conditions in the early part of the
dry season, head of the Office for Disaster
Preparedness and Management (ODPM)
Captain Neville Wint says the ODPM is in
need of additional resources to deal with
any impending disaster.
In an interview yesterday, Wint said
several agencies including the ODPM, was
facing manpower shortages but added
that National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon was already working towards filling
Saying there was a shortage of equip-
ment and supplies to distribute to disas-
ter victims, Wint said despite this, teams
will be working with the Ministry of Local
Government and the disaster coordina-
tors of the 14 municipal and regional cor-
porations in the event of any disaster.
“All entities that have a responsibility
to deal with comprehensive hazard im-
pact, require more resources. We need
manpower and equipment . Manpower
to manage incident response and equip-
ment and supplies like mattresses, tar-
paulins, generators which are needed to
bring immediate relief,” Wint added.
He advised residents. particularly those
in high risk areas,to stock supplies to sus-
tain them for 72 hours in the event of a
“We also want citizens to visit websites
for information on how to prepare for this
period,” Wint added.
Asked whether corporate T&T should
liaise directly with the ODPM to assist in
supplying materials, Wint said this could
create problems with regard to storage
space and shelf life. He said some items
could be supplied but it would be best if
items are donated on a needs basis.
Meanwhile, Arlini Timal said in antici-
pation of a wetter than usual dry season
citizens should remain vigilant of adverse
“Persons in flood prone and low lying
areas should pro-actively request sand
bags from municipal corporations to
keep out flood. Pre-fill sandbags in a safe
and easily accessible location within your
home. Keep your emergency contact
numbers handy and set up an early warn-
ing system in your community to warn
neighbours of rising water levels,” Timal
With regard to the management and
conservation of water, Timal said people
should store water in a safe place, in clean
bottles to prevent contamination.
The Met Office in its 2018 Dry Season
outlook advised farmers to plant early
to catch the likely wetter than usual con-
ditions early in the period. They were
also advised to harvest water during the
wetter periods of the season and to use
available water sparingly to ensure longer
water availability for crop growing. They
were also advised to use mulching and
trenching to prolong moisture at the crop
The Met office also called for the contin-
ued de-silting of water courses and con-
tinued conservation of water.
A senior fire officer said yesterday that
the T&T Fire Service will continue its out-
reach programme to educate communi-
ties about fire risks, particularly during
the dry season.
Captain Neville Wint
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