As dangerously cold conditions persisted in Chicago Thursday morning, a sprinkler water pipe burst in Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport.
The burst pipe caused a steady flow of water for several minutes as crews worked to stop the leak.
"I came up the escalator, and it was just foggy and water everywhere," employee Carielle Fleming said.
Temperatures reached 23 below degrees overnight at O'Hare, Chicago's official recording station, enough to break the previous daily record of 15 degrees below zero, set on Jan. 31, 1966.
It was the second day in a row Chicago broke the daily record for low temperatures. By 2 a.m. Wednesday, the temperature at O'Hare was minus 16 degrees.
More than 1,000 flights were canceled again Thursday, creating a waiting game for travelers at the mercy of Mother Nature.
"We were supposed to fly out yesterday at 1:19, and they postponed three flights, and then we got on one this morning," Mary Altman said.
Many were stunned to see that one of the country’s busiest hubs was nearly empty.
"This is unreal," said Taquaria Kyles. "I’ve never seen it like this. It’s always busy. Because I travel like every other month."
Multiple airlines anticipate normal travel by Friday.