According to multiple reports, Mississippi leaders are stepping in and trying to find a solution quickly amid a water crisis in the state capital. Governor Tate Reeves acted quickly and declared a state of emergency for all Jackson residents. As we previously reported, the city’s main water treatment facility failed on Monday. Officials blame longstanding water system problems and this week’s river flooding.
Governor Reeves told residents, “Don’t drink the water,” according to CNN. In a written statement, he said that as long as Jackson lacks reliable piped water, the city “cannot reliably produce enough water to flush toilets, fight fires and meet other critical needs.” State officials say the National Guard has been called in to help with distribution while crews work to get the water treatment plant back up and running. They will distribute potable and non-potable water to up to 180,000 city residents.
The state is also installing a water tanker system to provide water to fire engines, as Jackson loses the ability to take water from fire hydrants. Currently, residents of all ages were seen waiting in lines more than a mile long for at least two hours on Tuesday for just a case of bottled water. One of our roommates shared with us video footage of the long lines.
Unfortunately, Jackson has had water problems for a long time. During a news conference Monday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said it was just a matter of before the water system failed because Jackson’s water system has faced serious problems for years. Mayor Lumumba stated: “I have said on multiple occasions that it is not a question of ‘if’ our system would fail, but ‘when’ our system would fail,” the mayor said, adding that the city has been “doing it alone for the longest part of two years” when it comes to the water crisis.
Our thoughts are with those affected by this crisis.