The water supply in Jackson, Mississippi collapsed this week where much of the city has no running water at all and nowhere is it safe to drink. As of right now, it’s unclear when service will be restored. The city of Jackson was already struggling with a deteriorating water system long before this crisis. More inside….
The city of Jackson, Mississippi is under a state of emergency after the water supply to the state’s capital collapsed. Nowhere in the city is the water safe enough to drink and much of the city has no running water at all. Over 160,000 residents in the city of Jackson and Hinds County are without safe drinking water and in some neighborhoods they lack enough water pressure to flush toilets.
This morning, I spoke with Mayor Lumumba regarding the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi.
I’ve declared a state of emergency and FEMA, EPA, and the Army Corps are coordinating with the state to get clean and safe water to families. pic.twitter.com/xV6bcZK2TU
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 31, 2022
On August 31st, PresidentBiden declared a state of emergency in Mississippi as a result of the water crisis. The White House said they have offered Mississippi “every single thing available” to address the crisis, including help from FEMA, and urged the governor, Republican TateReeves, “to act.”
The immediate cause of the water crisis was torrential rains where the Pearl River flooded, which overwhelmed the city’s largest water treatment plant. However, the reason the water system collapsed is due to years of neglect. It was only a disaster because the city of Jackson was already struggling with a deteriorating water system long before the torrential downpour.
The EPA warned Mississippi in 2020 of "imminent" dangers for people drinking Jackson's tap water.
The 80% Black city has sought repairs since the 1940s.
Governor Reeves repeatedly refused requests for funding and the state only approved 6% of requested repair funds last year. pic.twitter.com/MvE2eZm4dn
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 1, 2022
Jackson officials confirm the city's longstanding water system issues. Kenneth Wayne Jones, the County Administrator who oversees operations, said the city’s water system had issues long before the Pearl River flooded.
"Being a part of local government, for many years we've seen this. It crashed totally in 1989. And, they went back, got a little federal assistance and pieced some things together and get it to this point" Jones said.
Over the last few decades, Jackson residents - majority Black - have dealt with service disruptions and recurring boil-water advisories to concerns over contaminants like lead and E. coli bacteria. The reason? The state’s refusal to help upgrade Jackson's aging infrastructure.
”For the last 30-something years, we've had this problem where we've been trying to get funding plans put in place to get the system straightened out,” said Jackson resident Chris Gray Sr.
Praying for the people of Jacksonville Mississippi whose Republican Governor admits no reliable water INDEFINITELY cause he didn’t use the money given by Biden to fix pipes, etc. This is unacceptable and needs investigating and declared state of emergency by Reeves! Vote Blue!
— moonlitangels (@moonlitangels2) August 30, 2022
According to the U.S. Census, Jackson’s population is 82.5% Black. The problem is that the federal funds given to the state were issued to surrounding areas with less urban populations, which left Jackson without enough funds to fix the water issue.
"The emergency declaration has already been filed. Washington, D.C. is looking now. So, now we can actually start to say something is going to be done about what we've been facing for years," Jones said.
A report from the EPA found Jackson's water department had insufficient staffing, which led to gaps in routine and preventative maintenance. According to CNN, the findings of the March 2022 EPA site visit were compiled in a July 2022 report prepared by Process Applications, Inc.
Jackson’s water infrastructure repairs could balloon into the billions, which far exceeds the money allocated under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Coach DeionSanders jumped into in crisis mode, looking for a place to get the Jackson State University Football team to where they could shower, eat and practice. Due to water being out in the city for the foreseeable future, it’s definitely causing an issue.
Bottled water donation sites surround the city of Jackson, Mississippi. If you’re looking to help the people of Jackson, the thread below shares tons of donation sites with their information:
tons of people across the state and across the country have been asking how they can help with the Jackson water crisis.. #jxnwatercrisis
here’s what i’ve compiled and will add to this week:
— Maze (@MaisieBrownJxn) August 30, 2022
The 2023 Mississippi gubernatorial election will take place on November 7th to choose the governor of Mississippi.
Stop voting for #Republicans. They are terrible, hateful people. Tate didn't hesitate to ask for federal funds for the flooding. Tate is just another Republikkkan racist. Interesting that POTUS called the mayor of Jacksonville directly about the water situation. https://t.co/bpNA6HdUB3
— peaceplay (@peaceplay) September 1, 2022
Vote accordingly, Mississippi!