Residents in Jackson, Mississippi, are still dealing with the consequences of the winter storm that passed through the South last month.
What We Know:
- Over two weeks after the storm, the city remains under a boil water notice. As a result, efforts to provide relief to citizens this week included the deployment of the National Guard in the area to help distribute water and the creation of several new distribution sites for bottled water and flushing water.
- On top of having to boil their own water, CBS News reports that residents are being asked to limit their use of water after many consumers report water outages. According to a press release from the city, “Over the course of this crisis, 80 total water main breaks/ leaks have been reported throughout the City.” On Monday, Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams reported that 51 water repairs had been completed within the Water Maintenance Department last week.
- The water crisis is far from over. Williams announced on Wednesday that debris, including fish and tree limbs, has clogged screens where water moves from a reservoir into a treatment plant. The debris caused pressure to drop for the entire water system, leaving a fourth of Jackson’s residents without running water.
- Mississippi Free Press reporter Ashton Pittman tweeted, “How is it that the people of a state’s capital city in the richest nation on earth have been without running water for two weeks now?” According to the US Census, the city of Jackson has at least 160,000 residents, and the population is 82%, Black. The majority of white residents live in the wealthy suburbs north and east of the city, unaffected by the water crisis.
- In a press conference, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said that the city’s aging infrastructure is the biggest issue. “We need long-term support to deal with this issue that has gone without being addressed sufficiently for decades,” he said.
At this time, Jackson officials have not released a specific timeline to resolve the water crisis.
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