Chaos, flooding at JFK International Airport highlight infrastructure shortfall

NEW YORK -- The storm that hit the Northeast last week is long gone, but John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York still hasn't recovered, with more flights delayed Monday.

Terminal 4 at JFK was more like a scavenger hunt, as weary flyers searched through a mountain of unclaimed luggage.

"I looked through hundreds of bags and they weren't there and finally I found out they were in another section," one traveler told CBS News.

Massive Winter Storm Brings Snow And Heavy Winds Across Large Swath Of Eastern Seaboard

Passengers wait for their delayed flights at gate 15 in terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 4, 2018 in the Queens borough of New York City.

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Last Thursday's storm kicked off a chain reaction of issues. Closed runways forced 159 flights to divert to other airports, and when those planes finally made it to JFK, they had to contend with regularly scheduled flights, mounds of snow, frigid temperatures and a shortage of open gates.

Then on Sunday, a water main broke and flooded Terminal 4, leaving three inches of standing water that knocked out the power and heat for a time.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, is being blamed for a breakdown in communication.

"What i'm saying to you is an investigation is needed," executive director Rick Cotton said at a press conference Monday. "We are starting it and are committed to wherever it leads."

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which advises the aviation industry on infrastructure issues, says an additional $4 billion a year is needed to keep up with growing demand, or what happened at JFK could happen a lot more often.

"We have a system where people fly around on the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world," said Corey Dinges, senior managing director at the ASCE. "Yet we're relying on infrastructure systems where they land and the airports that they have to go through that are just aging and aging."

The Federal Aviation Administration did step in on Saturday, ordering airlines to confirm there would be open gates when their flights arrived. It's also worth noting airlines like JetBlue and American reduced their flight schedule and operated without issue.