Jackson, the capital city of the southern U.S. state of Mississippi, has been left without safe water to drink and for other uses after its long-neglected water treatment plant broke down Monday.
State Governor Tate Reeves said that 180,000 people in Jackson and surrounding communities will not have running water until the treatment plant is repaired, possibly in a couple of days.
“It means the city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets, and to meet other critical needs,” Reeves said.
The governor said the state’s emergency management agency is distributing bottled drinking water and tanker trucks are being deployed for other water needs. Jackson’s public schools were closed Tuesday and classes were moved online.
The White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the Mississippi water crisis and that the federal government stands ready to help state officials.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the city’s latest water emergency was caused by complications from recent Pearl River flooding.
Consumption of water from the treatment plant has been disrupted several times in recent years, by winter storms last February and earlier by contamination from high lead levels and E. coli.
Some material in this report came from Reuters.