Mississippi water crisis leads to state of emergency

Rush Hour

(NewsNation) — As residents of Jackson, Mississippi, waited for floodwaters to recede Monday, officials say the flooding led to a water crisis in the state’s capital city.

Many awoke to their homes surrounded by water overflowing from the Pearl River, which crested Monday morning after heavy rains last week. The flooding resulted in water pressure issues at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility, which has caused a major water shortage or lack of water pressure for many people in Jackson.

In response, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Monday night. He says until the issue at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility has been resolved, there is no reliable running water in the city of Jackson. According to the governor, the Mississippi State Department of Health is also preparing an emergency order.

The water crisis is affecting more than 100,000 people, NewsNation affiliate WJTV reports.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, or MEMA, warned residents in a news conference Monday night that the water is not safe to drink or brush your teeth with and to only use water that has been boiled. The city has been under a boil water notice since July 29 from high turbidity levels.

MEMA says they are currently working on a system to distribute clean water, but for now, they advise residents to “keep boiling your water.”

The agency is asking Reeves to issue an executive order that would mobilize the National Guard, bringing more resources to help with the crisis. Beginning Tuesday morning, the governor says they will try to get a unified command center up and running as quickly as possible.

For people in the community, flooding is nothing new. Two years ago, torrential downpours caused the Pearl River to reach nearly 37 feet, filling entire neighborhoods with floodwaters.

The water shortage is expected to last for the next few days.

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