Brown water runs from tap in Mississippi amid water crisis
JACKSON, MIss. - A Mississippi resident filmed brown water coming from her tap as the state's capital city deals with a water crisis.
Molly Minta, who lives in the Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson, recorded the disturbing image Friday afternoon as a boil-water notice remains in place for the area.
"My landlord’s office manager said several properties in this area are affected," Minta told Storyful.
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The Mississippi National Guard is helping to supply residents with bottled and non-potable water.
Governor Tate Reeves said progress was being made on the city’s water crisis, but the boil-water notice would not be lifted at the weekend, according to Storyful.
Torrential rains and flooding of the Pearl River in late August exacerbated problems at one of Jackson’s two treatment plants, leading to a drop in pressure throughout the city.
The city of 150,000 had already been under a boil-water notice for a month because the Health Department found cloudy water that could cause digestive problems. Long lines have formed each day for limited supplies of bottled water at distribution sites.
Reeves declared a state of emergency for Jackson’s water system. The state will try to help resolve problems by hiring contractors to work at the treatment plant, which was operating at diminished capacity with backup pumps after the main pumps failed "some time ago," Reeves said.
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration request for the state of Mississippi, directing his administration to surge federal assistance to the region, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted.
RELATED: Mississippi water crisis: Jackson students return to school amid challenges
Like many cities, Jackson faces water system problems it can’t afford to fix. Its tax base has eroded the past few decades as the population decreased — the result of mostly white flight to suburbs that began after public schools integrated in 1970. The city’s population is now more than 80% Black, with about 25% of its residents living in poverty.
Low water pressure left some people unable to take showers or flush toilets and officials said the low pressure caused concern for firefighting. Those who did have water flowing from the tap were told to boil it to kill bacteria that could make them sick.
Storyful and the Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.