Heavy rains result with low water pressure raising concerns about firefighting and people’s ability to take showers or flush toilets in Jackson, Mississippi due to heavy rains

Jackson, Mississippi — The Governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, announced late Monday night that he would be declaring a state of emergency for Jackson as a result of excessive rainfall that exacerbated problems at one of the city’s water treatment plants and caused low water pressure throughout much of the city. Jackson is the capital of Mississippi.

Because of the low pressure, there were questions about how well firefighters could put out fires and about whether or not people could take showers or flush the toilets.

According to Reeves, on Tuesday the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will begin providing both drinking water and non-potable water in the city, which has a population of around 150,000 people. Additionally, the Mississippi National Guard will be called in to provide assistance. The governor stated that he is aware that residents of Jackson are frustrated as a result of the issues with the water system.

“I get it. I make my home in the big metropolis. It’s not the kind of news I’d like to hear, “Reeves stated. “However, you can count on us to be there for you.”

On Monday, several days after storms dropped significant rain in the area, a swollen Pearl River in Jackson inundated streets and at least one property in the city, although water levels were starting to subside. According to Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, the water did not rise to the level that was anticipated. Earlier estimates suggested that between 100 to 150 buildings in the Jackson region were under risk of flooding.

“We thank the Lord most of all for sparing so many of our residents,” Lumumba said Monday, hours before the governor spoke about the water system. Lumumba also declared  a water system emergency Monday due to complications from the flooding, CBS Jackson affiliate WJTV reports.

The National Weather Service reported that the highest level reached by the Pearl River was around 35.4 feet, which is less than the major flood stage level of 36 feet.

The bigger of Jackson’s two water treatment plants is located in close proximity to a reservoir, which is the source of the majority of the city’s water supply. The reservoir also plays an important part in the prevention of floods.

Lumumba, a Democrat who was not invited to the news conference held by the Republican governor, stated that the flooding has caused more issues at the treatment facility, and it is possible that the low water pressure may continue for a few days.

“What I liken it to is if you were drinking out of a Styrofoam cup, someone puts a hole in the bottom of it, you’re steady trying to fill it while it’s steady running out at the bottom,” Lumumba said.

According to WJTV, until the problem at the treatment facility is rectified, more than 100,000 people in that area won’t have access to dependable flowing water.

According to what was reported by the station, State Health Officer Dr. Daniel Edney recommended that residents boil their water for one minute before consuming it.

According to WJTV, the Jackson public schools made the transition to using remote learning on Tuesday as a result of the water difficulties.

According to WJTV, the city has stated that the water deficit is expected to continue for at least the next couple of days.

The city of Jackson’s water system has been plagued with issues for a very long time. As a result of the freezing temperatures that winter of 2021, a sizeable number of individuals were left without access to running water. Early on in this year, there was another instance of an issue of a similar nature, but on a less significant scale. Since late July, the city has been under a boil-water alert because testing discovered a hazy quality to the water that might lead to health concerns. The cloudiness of the water was determined to be a potential indicator of coliform bacteria.

The most recent issues with Jackson’s water system caused the legislative leaders to respond with worry.

“We have grave concerns for citizens’ health and safety,” Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said in a statement Monday, suggesting the state take a role in trying to solve the issue.

The Republican House speaker, Philip Gunn, said he has been contacted by hospitals, businesses and schools “pleading that something be done to address the water crisis in Jackson.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, stated on Tuesday to the press that the federal government is prepared to assist Mississippi in responding to the water situation.

“We stand ready and we are eager to assist further as soon as we receive an official request from the state,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One. She said the state has not asked FEMA for help with trucking in drinking water, and declined to say why.

“I cannot speak for the state of Mississippi. You would have to ask them,” she said. Jean-Pierre said White House officials have been in contact with local officials and the state Health Department, but had no details about calls between President Joe Biden and local or state officials.

The week before last, as the Pearl River began to rise, some inhabitants of Jackson began moving furniture and appliances out of their houses, while others began stocking up on sandbags. Two years ago, severe rain forced the river to reach a height of 36.7 feet, and flooding inundated the homes and communities that were affected the worst with filthy water that was teeming with snakes.

The home that Suzannah Thames owns and rents out in the northeastern part of Jackson was swamped with around 3 feet of water in the year 2020. On Friday, appliances, furniture, and other possessions were moved out of the residence by a crew that had been hired by Thames. She reported on Monday that the residence was inundated with water measuring between three and four inches deep late on Sunday.

“I thought it was going to be a lot worse,” Thames said. “I feel very fortunate. I feel very blessed.”

“I thought it was going to be a lot worse,” Thames added. “I thought it was going to be a lot worse.” “I can’t help but feel incredibly fortunate. I feel incredibly blessed.”

Andre Warner, who is 54 years old, stated on Monday that he and his family had prepared their home for the possibility of flooding in another northeast Jackson area by stacking all of their furniture on cinderblocks.

Warner reported that his family was forced to evacuate their house for a period of two weeks due to the flooding in 2020. At that time, water did not make its way into their home; nonetheless, the power in their area was cut off because neighboring homes had been flooded.

Warner explained that they had to wait for the water to drain for the area to dry up before they could turn the grid back on.

The flooding in the Mississippi was not as bad as the floods that occurred in Kentucky a month ago, which resulted in death and devastation. At least 39 people lost their lives as a result of these floods, while hundreds of families lost all they owned. A little over a month later, locals are still debating whether or not it would be best to start over someplace else or to rebuild where they currently call home.

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