Social Network
Jackson, Mississippi officials say water issue is not new
September 03 2022, 08:00

Bottled water donation sites surround the city of Jackson, Mississippi. Residents are looking for solutions to the current water crisis, which has left them with contaminated water and extremely low water pressure.

On Tuesday, August 30th, the Pearl River flooded, causing technical problems with Mississippi’s capital city’s water system. Now, over 160,000 residents in the city of Jackson and Hinds County are without safe drinking water.

Eric Brown is a Jackson resident. He says the timing of this frustrating event increases its impact. 

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, WATER CRISIS: EMERGENCY RENTAL PUMP INSTALLED AS GOVERNOR WARNS OF INTERRUPTIONS

"It's really frustrating, you know, especially at this time of the year. Everyone is getting ready for school. We have work in the mornings. We're trying to do our daily routines without those necessary resources that we expect to have to start and go throughout our day" Brown said. 

Hinds County includes the city of Jackson. The County Administrator, Kenneth Wayne Jones, oversees operations. He says the city’s water system had issues long before the Pearl River flooded.

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI RESTAURANT MANAGER SHARES STRUGGLES OF WATER CRISIS: 'HUGE RIPPLE EFFECTS'

"Being a part of local government, for many years we've seen this. It crashed totally in 1989. And, they went back, got a little federal assistance and pieced some things together and get it to this point" Jones said.

Resident Chris Gray Sr. says he was also aware of the city's longstanding water system issues.

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI WATER CRISIS: BIDEN APPROVES EMERGENCY DECLARATION, FEMA AID

For the last 30-something years, we've had this problem where we've been trying to get funding plans put in place to get the system straightened out" Gray said.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, Jackson’s population is 82.5% Black. Administrator Jones agrees with residents, saying federal funds have been given to surrounding areas with less urban populations. He feels this has left Jackson without enough funds to fix the water issue.

"You cannot ignore the fact that resources were allocated, and the community was disenfranchised because they were sending the resources and allocating the resources to other area," Jones said. 

 He says amongst all the turmoil there is a silver lining.

"The emergency declaration has already been filed. Washington, D.C. is looking now. So, now we can actually start to say something is going to be done about what we've been facing for years," Jones said. 

 He says the city and county hope to have all water pumps in working condition and safe drinking water for residents within the next two weeks.