Wednesday December 7th, 2022 1:13PM

Jackson sees some improvement in its damaged water system

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi officials set up emergency distribution centers for handouts of water and hand sanitizer Thursday in the capital city of Jackson, as efforts to restore a flood-impaired, long-troubled water system continued.

Jackson’s residents were already under a boil-water order before flooding from the Pearl River exacerbated long-standing problems at one of the city’s two water treatment plants.

Officials said they made progress overnight in refilling tanks, treating water and increasing pressure at the O.B. Curtis Water Plant, the facility at the root of the latest water woes in Jackson. Residents closer to the facility had pressure approaching normal levels, the city said in a news release, but added that many in the city still had little or no water pressure.

At a midday news conference with Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and other officials, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced the opening of seven sites for distributing drinking water, non-drinking water and hand sanitizer. He said 600 National Guard members were aiding the response. The seven new “mega-sites” follow smaller scale distribution efforts at city fire stations, churches, nonprofits and businesses.

“To everyone in the city: I know that you are dealing with a profoundly unfair situation,” Reeves said in remarks aimed at city residents. “It’s frustrating, it’s wrong and it needs to be fixed.”

Reeves and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency director Stephen McCraney stressed that the state would look for long-term solutions to the city’s water problems.

The water crisis affects the city's 150,000 residents — many of whom were unable to take showers or flush toilets — plus an estimated 30,000 who come into the city to work at businesses without water pressure, Reeves said.

Reeves said those businesses are suffering major economic harm because of the crisis. McCraney said the state will look into the availability of federal Small Business Administration loans to aid them.

Figures on how many residents or businesses were directly affected by a loss of water at any given time were not available Thursday.

Jackson schools held classes online Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and some restaurants closed. Portable toilets are parked outside the Capitol. Jackson State University brought in temporary restrooms for students.

Lisa Jones filled empty paint buckets with water at a distribution site in south Jackson on Wednesday. She said her family would use the water for bathing. She said she's frustrated by paying for water service she's not receiving.

“Every week you have to beg somebody to go to their house and ask if you and your children can take a bath. And then you’re running their bills up," Jones said. "If we can’t fix it, we need to get someone who can. ... Fix what’s broke. Enough is enough.”

Reeves declared a state of emergency Monday night after excessive rainfall and flooding from the Pearl River exacerbated problems at the treatment plant. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state. Biden called Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba on Wednesday to discuss response efforts, including support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Thursday morning, the city reported “significant progress” in restoration efforts at the treatment plant, with output measuring 78 pounds per square inch, approaching a goal of 87 PSI.

“There are still challenges to navigate as the intake water source changes chemistry again. Operator schedules have been adjusted to increase coordination between shifts,” the city statement said.

In addition to on-site repairs, the city is working to obtain more chemicals needed for treatment.


Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him on Twitter at


Associated Press writer Kevin McGill in New Orleans contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2022
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Georgia D eager to show it hasn't lost a step facing Oregon
A significant chunk of Georgia’s defense for the ages has moved on to the NFL
1:10PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Jackson sees some improvement in its damaged water system
Officials in Mississippi's capital city say water pressure is improving but the city remains under a boil-water notice for safety
12:58PM ( 14 minutes ago )
It's back to school in Ukraine — but far from normal
It's the first day of school in Ukraine, but children won't be sharing memories from their holidays
12:56PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
CDC advisers weigh who needs updated COVID booster and when
Government advisers are debating who should should get new updated COVID-19 boosters and when
12:42PM ( 30 minutes ago )
75 migrants bused from Texas arrive in Chicago
Chicago officials say 75 immigrants have arrived in the city on buses from Texas, as part of an aggressive border policy by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
12:34PM ( 37 minutes ago )
‘Tragic outcomes’: Mentally ill face fatal risk with police
People experiencing mental health crises have been being killed by police in America
12:26PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP National News
More kids are repeating a grade. Is it good for them?
As some children struggled to keep up with school in the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states saw significant increases in the number of students held back to repeat grades
8:38AM ( 4 hours ago )
White House to encourage COVID boosters, flu shot this fall
The Biden administration hopes to make getting a COVID-19 booster as routine as going in for the yearly flu shot
12:10AM ( 13 hours ago )
California wildfires prompt evacuations amid heat wave
Firefighters are battling two California blazes that are raging in rural areas and have prompted evacuations in the midst of a scorching heat wave
11:54PM ( 13 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
EU: US electric vehicle tax credit reduces buyers' choices
The European Union trade chief says a new U.S. tax credit aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles could eventually backfire and limit choices for American consumers
12:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
Australia, France deepen defense ties after breakdown
Australia and France are drawing up plans to strengthen their defense cooperation as the two countries try to heal wounds from last year's diplomatic breakdown over a secret submarine contract that infuriated France
11:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
UK's Johnson pledges millions to fund new nuclear plant
Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged 700 million pounds ($810 million) of government funding for a new nuclear power plant
10:10AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
It's back to school in Ukraine — but far from normal
It's the first day of school in Ukraine, but children won't be sharing memories from their holidays
12:56PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Bodycam video released in Busey sex offense investigation
Authorities in New Jersey have released video and documents related to sexual offense charges filed against actor Gary Busey
12:50PM ( 22 minutes ago )
R. Kelly tells judge he won't testify at ongoing trial
Singer R. Kelly says he won't testify in his own defense at his ongoing trial on charges that accuse him of child pornography, enticement of minors for sex and fixing his 2008 trial
12:46PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Waterborne diseases spread among flood victims in Pakistan
Pakistani health officials are reporting an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the flood-affected areas
12:43PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Lawyers in Trump White House to appear before 1/6 grand jury
The White House counsel under former President Donald Trump and his top deputy are set to appear before a federal grand jury investigating efforts to undo the 2020 presidential election
12:43PM ( 29 minutes ago )