Mississippi’s largest city in water crisis as treatment plant fails

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The governor of Mississippi urged residents of Jackson, the state’s capital and largest city, not to drink the water there — if they still had access to it — warning that running water would soon be unavailable as the city’s long-struggling treatment plant failed.

Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said during an emergency briefing Monday night that the city would be without “reliable running water at scale” for the near future.

Exactly when the situation would be resolved was unclear, officials at the briefing said, but Reeves said the state was prepared to distribute alternative sources of water for “as long as we have to.”The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency had asked Reeves to mobilize the National Guard to help with distribution, said the agency’s executive director, Stephen C. McCraney.

Jackson Public Schools said that starting Tuesday, all of its schools would shift to virtual learning because of the water crisis.

Until the situation is resolved, residents in the city of 150,000 should not drink the water or use it to cook or brush their teeth unless they boil it first, officials said. Reeves said the situation was “very different” from a boil-water notice, as the water itself would run out — leaving residents unable to flush their toilets…

There would not even be enough water to fight fires, Reeves said, adding that the state this weekend started gathering alternative sources of water, including for firefighting. Separate sources of drinking water and non-potable water for flushing toilets would be distributed, he said.

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