Thousands of residents in Jackson are still without water service two weeks after a historic winter storm slammed the state, freezing and bursting many water pipes in the capital city.
Officials cannot estimate how many residents are without water in Jackson, the state’s largest city that is at least 80% Black, and they cannot say definitively when water service will be restored. Pockets of west Jackson and a majority of south Jackson are the areas hit hardest by service disruptions — a reality officials attribute to the distance between these neighborhoods and the city’s water treatment plants.
Over the course of the water crisis, 80 water main breaks and leaks have been reported across the city. As of Sunday night, the city’s water maintenance department had completed 51 repairs. Crews completing the repairs have described city pipes, some over 100 years old, as brittle, underscoring the need for a vast overhaul of the city’s aging infrastructure.
“We are glad to see that the process is working. While it isn’t working to the speed we would like to see, we are glad to know that we are on the right track,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said during a Sunday press conference. “We’re not happy until we can restore water service to every single last person in this city.”
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