Christmas winter storm interrupts water system in Jackson, Mississippi

Funviralpark 2 years ago 0 2


Most of the people who depend on Jackson, Mississippi’s already-struggled water system have been without water since Christmas Eve, and officials have been unable to find a cause.

What was revealed on Tuesday night was that the city was having trouble with its water system well before last week’s freezing temperatures subsided. The customer became inaccessible and was ordered to boil the water.

We’re really struggling because the location of the leak is “totally invisible and then obvious,” Ted Heniffin told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

Henifin was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice this fall to oversee improvements to Jackson’s water system after system failures in 2021 and a water treatment plant failure in August left people without access to water for weeks. I am a water expert.

Mayor Chokwe Antal Lumumba, a Democrat, said Tuesday that the damage was extensive, although city officials warned residents to prepare for possible disruptions to water access.

“We are dealing with the worst-case scenario,” Lumumba said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Lumumba declared a state of emergency Citing “complications” at the OB Curtis Water Plant Monday night, it urged residents to report leaks. He issued a boiling water notice to the city late Sunday morning, and the notice remained in place on Tuesday afternoon. The city government distributed water to residents.

“The pressure on the system remains low,” Mr. Lumumba said, but “it is slightly better than yesterday.”

The Lumumba office did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for answers on how many customers were affected and who could be held responsible for the latest infrastructure outage.Tate Reeves The Governor (R) did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.

Most customers have low water pressure and some have no water, Henfin said.

This includes Techemia Bennett.

Her South Jackson home has had no hot water since Friday, when temperatures averaged 18 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. Her house had low water pressure on Saturday, averaging 24.5 degrees, but it was still below freezing.

That night, the flow stopped.

“Christmas day I woke up with no water. Not an IV,” she told the Post after the mayor’s press conference on Tuesday. .”

Jackson water crisis ‘foreseen’, residents say in lawsuit

Recent winter water problems highlight Jackson’s systematic struggle to consistently provide safe water to customers.

Federal officials say city leaders have long mismanaged Jackson’s water system, leading to its collapse in early 2021 when a winter storm brought the system down for a month.

Then, during the summer, severe flooding occurred, leaving much of the 150,000-inhabitant city without water for several days and keeping boiling water notifications in effect for more than a month.

Life in a city without water: “This is irresistible”

Some residents were able to sue the city together in their own lawsuit in September, seeking class action status in a federal judge, The Washington Post reported at the time. The crisis, which has been around for decades and was entirely foreseeable by the actions of the defendants, is that Jackson residents will not have access to clean, safe water in major U.S. cities in 2022. into an untenable position,” Filing said. ”

The U.S. Department of Justice appointed Henifin as the third-party manager of the city’s water system in November, saying it had “taken action in federal court to address the longstanding failure of the City of Jackson’s public drinking water system.” Attorney General Merrick Garland said: time.

Henfinn said he and his crew are trying everything they can to identify the leak. They urged people to report leaks, crews were roaming areas with known problems, and state drone operators were planning to fly using thermal imaging technology Tuesday night. .

“There was really no plumbing preparation,” he said. “The preparations we made were for a quick response.

He said he’s frustrated because contractors are ready to jump on the problem, but they’ll have to wait until the leak is found.

Part of the problem, Henifin said, is that the system lacks the necessary monitoring technology to find leaks. He said the city is experiencing funding shortfalls more than many other cities of its size.

According to Henniffin, the federal government accustomed cities to federal funding in the early 1980s, keeping water systems high and dry by turning off taps.

Henniffin said climate change played a big role in causing these persistent cold temperatures, which are rare in the Deep South. “If you blame anyone, blame all of us for burning fossil fuels.”

Jackson, Mississippi shows extreme weather could trigger clean water crisis

No one in Mississippi thought pipes needed to be buried or insulated against such persistent cold temperatures.

“These are unprecedented in Jackson 10 years ago,” Henfin said.

Mayor Lumumba said Tuesday that FEMA is investigating the situation.

“FEMA is monitoring the situation in Jackson and is in communication with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency,” FEMA spokesperson Jeremy M. Edwards said in a statement to the Post.

Ally Jasper, spokesperson for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said MEMA “played no part” in mitigating this week’s water crisis. The city has not requested assistance from authorities as of Tuesday afternoon.

Unable to make a Christmas meal, Bennett was frustrated with the city’s reaction and what she described as a lack of communication and urgency.

“Plants? Pumps?” she asked for clarification.

Bennett admitted the city is handing out bottled water, but the queue continues “for as long as we can see”. She said several lines had formed for

Bennett, who has lived in the city for more than 30 years, cited several occasions when Jackson’s access to water was lost.

“They told us this was fixed in August,” she said.

Bennett says he is “financially destitute” because he has so many of these problems and is looking for alternatives to bathing and cooking for his four children.

“My long-term plan is to move,” Bennett said because of the problem. “I can’t live like this.”

“This is the 21st century. We need running water.”

Henfin said such a withdrawal would be an exit for people and their tax dollars, making the situation worse for those remaining.

The predominantly black city was the victim of a white exile in the 1970s, when white residents fled to the suburbs for what experts said contained racism, The Post reports. High-income black residents then left Jackson and his water system. As the tax base decreased, so did Jackson’s ability to self-improve.

White and Black Residents Abandon Jackson, Driving Water Crisis

“Jackson people are tough. I think we take them to the limit,” said Henifin. “I want to make sure this is the last Christmas I have to wake up without water.”

Lumumba did not directly blame anyone for living without stable water for his members.

“We are not in control of Mother Nature,” he said. “We are dealing with an old and crumbling system.”

Jackson is “tired of this being the norm,” Lumumba said of the water problem he “inherited.”

“We are tired of apologizing.”

– Advertisement – BuzzMag Ad
Written By

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

– Advertisement – BuzzMag Ad