Boil water order issued in Mississippi capital amid freeze


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — City officials in Jackson on Christmas Day announced that residents must now boil their drinking water due to water lines bursting in the frigid temperatures.

“Please check your businesses and churches for leaks and broken pipes, as these add up tremendously and only worsen the problem,” the city said in a statement, adding: “We understand the timing is terrible.”

The problems come months after the water system in Jackson — the state capital with about 150,000 residents — partially collapsed. Most of Jackson lost running water for several days in late August after flooding exacerbated longstanding problems in one of two water treatment plants. Residents had to wait in lines for water to drink, cook, bathe and flush toilets.

Along with the order to boil drinking water, city officials said some residents also have reported low water pressure or no water pressure. The city’s water system saw “fluctuating” pressure beginning on Saturday amid frigid temperatures.

One resident said she had dirty water coming into her bathroom that smelled “like a sewage,” while another pointed out that Jackson’s water infrastructure has been bad for years.

“It’s no surprise that the water turned out like it did for Christmas,” she said.

Jackson city leaders say crews haven’t found all the water line breaks and until they are repaired, the water pressure will remain low. In the meantime, the city and volunteers are working to hand out bottled water to residents and they have set up different stations.

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