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General View of Jackson State University in the Snow

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The residents of Jackson are still struggling with proper access to water. Over the holiday weekend, Jackson mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba declared a local state of emergency due to the city’s low to no water pressure in certain areas. 

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According to 16 ABC, the city spent most of the day on Monday identifying leaks to restore pressure, but pressure remains low. 

On Christmas Day, Jackson officials issued a boil water notice to residents due to water lines bursting because of below-freezing temperatures. 

“Please check your businesses and churches for leaks and broken pipes, as these add up tremendously and only worsen the problem,” the city said in a statement, adding: “We understand the timing is terrible.”

Jackson officials warned last week before temperatures dropped below freezing that the city’s water infrastructure could experience problems.

According to AP, the city’s water system saw “fluctuating” pressure beginning on Saturday amid frigid temperatures.

Since the summer, Jackson’s water infrastructure has been in shambles. On July 29, MSDH issued a boil-water notice for Jackson’s public drinking water system.

The next month, the city proclaimed an emergency after excessive rainfall and extreme flooding prevented the system from delivering any water to the approximately 160,000 persons living within the city and in certain areas of nearby Hinds County who rely on the system.

Residents had no running water to drink or to use for basic hygiene and safety purposes like washing hands, showering, flushing toilets, fighting fires, or washing dishes.

The water pressure was not restored until Sept. 6, and the boil-water notice remained in effect until Sept. 15. Jackson’s water crisis has plagued its residents for decades. 

In the 1970s and again in 2020, the EPA warned that the city had to get serious about updating its infrastructure to improve water quality, but they didn’t.

But the city could be getting some much-needed aid in the form of government assistance. 

House Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., announced last week that the congressional year-end funding omnibus bill will include $600 million in federal funds to fix Jackson’s water crisis and to help rebuild Jackson’s lackluster drinking water system.

If congress approves the bill, $150 million will be allotted for “technical assistance,” and $450 million will go to “capital projects.”


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