Most of a Mississippi city is without water

Victor Hernandez, left, and Luis Martinez fill their water containers with a hose from a spigot in Haden Park, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 in Houston. Texas officials have ordered 7 million people to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.

Almost all of Jackson, a city of around 150,000 people, is now without water, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.

Lumumba said public works crews are working to pump as much water as they can to refill the city’s tanks. The city is approaching a critical shortage in chemicals used to treat the city’s water, the mayor said. Road closures are making it difficult for distributors to make needed deliveries.

“We are dealing with an extreme challenge with getting more water through our distribution system,” he said. “This becomes increasingly challenging because we have so many residents at home, and while the residents are at home, that means that people are utilizing or attempting to use the water at a higher rate.”

Linda Weathersby, an administrative assistant for the mayor’s office in Jackson, lives in an apartment building for seniors in the city.

There are 85 seniors who have been living in her building without water since Monday, Weathersby, said. The assistant manager at her building bought bottled water and was bringing to residents door-to-door.

Weathersby said she’s spent part of the day outside with a bucket collecting ice to melt and use to flush her toilet.

“I’ve been out there getting water, and my back’s hurting now,” she said.

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