Mississippi declares state of emergency for water crisis
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency late Monday after heavy rainfall created a low water pressure problem for the 150,000 residents of Jackson. Emergency officials are distributing bottled water to residents, and some schools have moved to online classes while others are using temporary restrooms for students. The National Guard will also be called in to help.
What caused the problem? Jackson officials have advised residents since July to boil their water because of cloudy qualities that could cause health problems. But recent flooding of the Pearl River exacerbated the problem. The river crested just a few inches short of the major flood level of 36 feet. Those 7 inches saved 100-150 homes, officials estimate, leaving only one home with flood damage. The mayor said last week that fixing the city’s water system could cost about $200 million—more than double the $75 million the state is receiving as part of the recent bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Dig deeper: Read Josh Schumacher’s report in The Sift on the aftermath of major floods in the Appalachian mountains.
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