“It’s like no one cares” – after two weeks without running water, Jackson, Miss. Ask for help

by Kenny Stancel

It has been two weeks and I know families of children who do not have water. The city needs help. I am grateful for my water flowing enough to clean my toilet but dang. This only needs to be fixed at this point. It just needs to be fixed. “

This is what Jamario Townsend, a resident of Jackson, Mississippi, recently posted on the city’s Facebook page, to me Reports from before The Daily Beast. Tens of thousands of people in Jackson lack reliable access to running water for nearly two weeks and remain alert due to the boiling point since winter storms in mid-February destroyed the capital’s old water system, prompting renewed calls for major investments in infrastructure development.

Like Washington Post mentioned Monday night:

On February 15, residents across Mississippi woke up to a blanket of ice, which is not uncommon in this part of the South. The ice has trapped many residents in their homes and made the roads impassable. Days later, another winter storm made its way through the state, leaving residents in central Mississippi without electricity and eventually killing six people.

While electricity was eventually restored, Jackson soon faced another problem: a shortage of running water. On February 17, the system went out of power, and officials immediately issued a boiling water notification for 43,000 calls, including homes and businesses.

Grocery store shelves were already picked bare thanks to the ice storm, and bottled water was scarce. Local organizations have stepped up to deliver cases of bottled water to those in need.

Two weeks later, many residents still lack access to water. Officials say it’s impossible to know how many homes are completely empty of water, as there might be a few drops of water coming out of their pipes. But Charles Williams, Jackson’s director of public works, said Monday morning that the current pressure is 37 pounds per square inch – usually between 85 and 90.

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Nancy Palmer, 82, who lives in a large apartment in Northeast Jackson, has been without running water since February 16.

“I can’t even describe how I feel,” she said Mail. “I’m disgusted, desperate, everyone is here. It’s like no one cares. You’re just here.”

Said Enrica Williams, a professional chef who lives in South Jackson The Daily Beast That many people in the city – home to some 160,000 people and a poverty rate of nearly 27% – cannot buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of bottled water for cooking, bathing and laundry.

“Water is a basic necessity, and it has brought a lot of frustration, anger and disappointment,” she said. “We haven’t gone out of the woods yet. There are still a lot of people without water.”

The Mail “Water problems are not new to townspeople. Boiling notices are so common that the T-shirt store sells items that say ‘Welcome to Boil Water Alert Mississippi’,” he noted.

But the sheer scale of the current crisis is unprecedented. All Jackson is either without running water or subject to a boiling water notice.

“Usually when we have a blackout, it’s in a neighborhood, so people used to go to their friends’ house or their maternal aunt’s house to take a shower or fill some jugs,” said Laurie Bertram Roberts, director of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, told The Daily Beast. “Usually, you can grab your buckets and find somewhere to fill them, whatever. But when is the whole damned city?”

Like many impatient residents, Enrica Williams told news outlets, “There was no plan we could see. Press conferences were redundant. If you don’t know when you will be back, what is being done to help us?”

In 2014, the city agreed to increase the sales tax by 1% with the goal of improving its aging infrastructure, but that tax only raises $ 13 million in annual revenue, a fraction of the $ 2 billion that Mayor Chukoy Lumumba says the city needs – not just for Water system but also for long-term repairs to the sewage system and roads.

Lumumba said to Mail. The mayor asked for help from the state government, saying, “We need direct resources that can come to Jackson.”

Mississippi Republican Tate Reeves on February 23 chirp His administration has obtained tanks to “provide non-potable water to Jackson to move the system and accelerate reform” and will deploy the National Guard to help, adding: “We will return clean water to the Jacksonians!”

Charles Williams, City Public Works Director, Tell XXXV 16, Sweetened ABC News A subsidiary company, that officials “are trying to obtain a specific timetable for when to return water to all or our citizens.”

“We know some have been taken back, and we are happy with that,” he said. But we’re still very worried about our South Jackson population. And other small pockets around the city. These residents are still suffering without water. “

Over the weekend, “fed-up locals flooded the town’s Facebook page to demand answers.” The Daily Beast mentioned.

“We understand the frustration,” She said Charles Williams. “We understand the complaints, and unfortunately, they are right. We are doing everything we can. We still ask for patience, but we know that work is in progress.”

In a joint statement with The Daily Beast“Our systems were never intended to withstand days of ice storms and sub-zero temperatures as well as road conditions that prevented the delivery of vital supplies,” Lumumba said.

Reeves seems to agree, say At a press conference last Tuesday, Jackson’s water equipment woes go back to “50 years of neglect and neglect of the piping and system challenges.”

He added, “50 years of deferred maintenance is not something that we will fix in the next six to eight hours.”

The Republican legislator’s comments can be interpreted as an implicit endorsement of the recently introduced Water Act, which, Shared dreams mentioned Last week, it seeks to address the country’s water crisis and ensure access to clean and safe drinking water as a human right.

Charles Williams She said That without sufficient investment, “It will happen again. It’s only a matter of time.”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. Feel free to post and share widely.

Source: Shared dreams

Photo: City Councilor Aaron Banks carries bottled water at a local distribution center in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo: Screen capture from ABC 16 WAPT News)

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