Dec 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jackson on "boil water" notice amid frigid weather

A volunteer grabs a gallon of water at a water and food distribution drive held by College Hill Baptist Church and the World Central kitchen on March 07, 2021 in Jackson, Mississippi. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Officials in Jackson, Mississippi issued a citywide "boil water" notice on Christmas Day after a powerful winter storm brought frigid temperatures to large swaths of the country.

Why it matters: It's the latest ordeal for a city that has had water problems for decades. Jackson's 150,000 residents lost water in late August after flooding in the Pearl River wreaked havoc on the city's water system.

Where it stands: City officials had said on Christmas Eve the water system was experiencing "fluctuating" pressure, and some residents said they had no water pressure Saturday, AP reports.

  • Officials said a drop in temperature caused a slowdown in production at a water treatment plant. Spokesperson Melissa Payne said the low temperature was contributing to breaks.

What they're saying: "The system has lost pressure due to line breaks that have not been identified. These breaks are likely caused by the weather," the city said in a statement Sunday. "Water crews are actively trying to find these breaks in order to repair them as quickly as possible."

  • "Some areas may be experiencing very low pressure. We will continue to work to maximize production at the plants to restore pressure to as much of the system as possible. Even if your pressure is restored, the boil water notice remains in effect until further notice." 
  • "We understand the timing is terrible. Please know that we hate to issue the notice during the Christmas holiday. "
  • The city said it had set up water distribution sites for those in need.
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