By Melissa Koenig
Travelers trying to flee New York on budget airlines out of LaGuardia Airport were faced with ankle-deep water Friday morning amid widespread flooding.
The airport was forced to close its Terminal A — from where flights on Spirit and Frontier airlines depart — as the floodwaters barreled through the building.
Photos and videos posted online showed the terminal covered in water as frantic passengers tried to flee.
One woman even shared footage from inside one of the terminals, showing her TikTok followers the water creeping up over her boots and seeping through the building’s revolving doors.
“NEVER FLYING FROM LAGUARDIA AGAIN.” she wrote on the clip.
“Yes it was a ‘flash’ flood- but theres [sic] no reason the airport floodin’ like this.”
Another video posted to TikTok by influencer Batsheva Haart showed a car struggling to drive through the water that piled up on the surrounding roads.
She called the footage a “PSA anyone coming into or leaving LGA.”
Amid the flooding, LaGuardia Airport officials announced that they were temporarily shuttering operations at Terminal A, and passengers would be transported to Terminal C.
All of the Spirit Airlines flights, which depart from the terminal, were canceled until 3 p.m., while Frontier Airlines said it would operate its two remaining flights from Terminal C.
The airport also warned passengers on X they “should confirm their flight status prior to traveling to the airport.”
As of 1 p.m., LaGuardia was reporting 44 delays and 50 flight cancellations, according to Flight Aware, a website that monitors airport traffic.
Nearby John F. Kennedy Airport was also reporting 42 delayed flights and nine cancellations.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says airport staff are monitoring runways, roadways and terminals and will redirect traffic if necessary.
The agency will activate water pumps to alleviate flooding if needed.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for New York City, the Hudson Valley and Long Island in response to the flooding.
“This is a dangerous, life-threatening storm,” Hochul said in an interview with TV station NY1.
“Count on this for the next 20 hours.”
Separately, Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency for the five boroughs and urged New Yorkers to stay home, or shelter in place at work or in school.
“This is a dangerous condition and it’s not over,” he said.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning, citing a “dangerous and life-threatening situation” caused by the storm, which is expected to bring up to 10 inches of rain in some parts of the region.
“Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order,” an emergency alert sent out late Friday morning warned.
Parts of New York City have already seen 6 inches of rain by 1:30 p.m., when the National Weather Service recorded that LaGuardia Airport was reporting 3.65 inches while JFK International Airport was reporting 6.12 inches.
A flood watch remains in effect through 6 a.m. Saturday for the entire tri-state, with rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour expected at times.