JACKSON, Miss. (NewsNation) — Businesses across Jackson continue to struggle to operate as the city has been under a boil advisory for more than a month and issues with the city’s water pressure are making things worse.
“From a restaurant standpoint it’s costing them a fortune — from just a lifestyle, everyone that is a resident of Jackson it’s just a pain in the a–,” said Arden Barnett, an entertainment promoter.
Restaurants are trying to keep their doors open, but some eateries are spending more than $300 a day on canned soft drinks and bottled water. All of this comes as business is already down more than 20% compared to August 2021.
For Chris Carter, the extreme water troubles forced him to shut down his restaurant, Scrooge’s Fine Foods & Drink, on Wednesday.
“I’m frustrated and irritated with the situation that I’m left with as a business owner and for the other business owners,” he said.
“At some point, you have to bite the bullet and get out; several restaurant owners have been able to do that,” said Carter.
For the fourth straight day, more than 150,000 people don’t have water to drink, flush toilets, cook food or even shower. Grocery stores and retailers are also finding it difficult to keep water bottles on the shelves.
Meanwhile, those who are forced to use tap water are instructed to boil it for three minutes before using it to drink, brush teeth or cook; however, many residents are afraid to use it because of the grit that remains in the water, even after boiling it.
The city’s water system has been plagued with problems for years, and maintenance has been deferred for more than three decades. It’s a problem officials say will cost $2 billion to fix.
Some relief, however, is on the way: Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MSEMA) tweeted that an emergency rental pump was installed Wednesday.
Starting Thursday, MSEMA will distribute 36 truckloads of water a day at seven sites across Jackson.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday approved an emergency declaration for the state of Mississippi.