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National Guard Deployed as Jackson, Mississippi Water Crisis Deepens

Mississippi's capital city remains without water while National Guard troops are deployed and repair work continues on its water treatment plants.
National Guard Deployed as Jackson, Mississippi Water Crisis Deepens

Governor Tate Reeves on Thursday deployed 600 National Guard troops at mass water distribution sites across the Mississippi capital as workers struggled to repair beleaguered plant pumps that have left many without reliable running water for weeks, with no end in sight, reports the Washington Post.  

"To everyone in the city: I know that you’re dealing with a profoundly unfair situation," said Reeves, flanked by state officials and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. "It’s frustrating, it’s wrong and it needs to be fixed."

Jackson water crisis deepens as state deploys National Guard (Washington Post)

Excerpt from the Washington Post: Cities across the region also have been trucking in water to aid Jackson. By afternoon, cars had lined up at the state sites, including at the state fairgrounds, where officials told reporters the locations would be supplied by 108 trucks for the next few days, enough water for the city’s 150,000 residents, plus 30,000 out-of-town workers. By Thursday, one of the plant’s two broken pumps had been replaced with an emergency rental pump, doubling water pressure from the day before. The second pump was expected to be repaired early next week, although it was not clear when water service would be restored citywide. Reeves declared a state of emergency late Monday after flooding from the Pearl River worsened problems at one of the city’s two water treatment plants. The city has been under a boil-water notice since late July due to what the state called quality issues, and the water plant has been plagued by problems in recent years including staff shortages, failed environmental inspections, a freeze and a fire.
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According to the Guardian, the overwhelming majority of people – more than 150,000 – in the predominantly Black city have now lost access to safe running water. Most had already been without drinkable water for more than a month, but flooding last weekend, caused by weeks of rain, further interrupted operations at the city’s beleaguered main water plant.  

‘All of a sudden it’s undrinkable’: why an entire US city has no clean water (Guardian)

Excerpt from the Guardian: Currently large numbers have nothing come out of their taps, and for those that do, it must be boiled before being consumed. The crisis is in an acute stage, with temperatures set to top 90F on Thursday and Friday. Schools have shuttered their buildings and gone virtual. The Mississippi emergency management agency announced water distribution plans on Thursday. The city has created water distribution points, and some community organizations are doing what they can to fill the gaps
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The most immediate cause of the problem was flooding from the city’s Pearl River that ran into the streets. This flooding caused issues at the city’s O.B. Curtis Water Plant on Monday. The flooding may have been the most proximate source of problems, but issues with the city’s water system have been long-standing, writes the Hill.

Why don’t Jackson, Mississippi, residents have water? (Hill)

Excerpt from the Hill: Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) said in a Tuesday press conference that the issues were caused by "a lack of pressure in the system … that was complicated by the flood waters that we received." Ben Magbanua, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Mississippi State University, said that in general, maintaining pressure helps keep contaminants out of the water system. "One of the ways they keep contamination out of the distribution system is by maintaining a positive pressure so that water tends to flow out of it rather than into it, so when you have low pressure, that positive pressure isn’t maintained and contaminants can more regularly seep in."
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