Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency for Jackson, the state's capital, as an ongoing water crisis threatens the "critical needs" of more than 180,000 city residents. Severe flooding knocked out pumps at the capital's main water treatment center, sparking a massive shortage of clean water.
I have declared a State of Emergency and activated the Mississippi National Guard in response to the ongoing running water crisis in Jackson. pic.twitter.com/dj6xrqfQ95
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) August 30, 2022
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Gov. Reeves activated the National Gaurd Monday evening to assist in distributing clean water to the city's residents.
"The is a very different situation from a boil water notice - which is also a serious situation which the residents of Jackson have become tragically numb to," the governor said in a prepared statement.
The crux of the problem resides in Jackson's failed water treatment facility with low water pressure and inadequate treatment to clean the water. Pumps at the water treatment facility were damaged in recent floods.
"Until it is fixed, it means we do not have reliable running water at scale. It means the city cannot produce enough water to reliably flush toilets, fight fire and meet other critical needs," the governor continued.
MISSISSIPPI GOV: “The total or near total loss of water pressure throughout the City of Jackson .. has created a condition of disaster and extreme peril to the safety of persons and property.”#MississippiFlooding https://t.co/PEP7TtZ3J2
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) August 30, 2022
The mayor warned residents:
"Do not drink the water. In too many cases, it is raw water from the reservoir being pushed through the pipes," Reeves told Jackson residents Monday. "Be smart, protect yourself, protect your family."
Gov. Reeves said emergency maintenance is underway at the water treatment facility as there is no timetable on when the water shortage will be resolved.