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Biden Declares State of Emergency in Mississippi Due to Capital’s Water Crisis

President Biden has declared a state of emergency in Mississippi as a result of “a water crisis” in the state capital of Jackson, the White House said late Tuesday night.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted that the president had ordered his team to surge federal assistance to the region. “We are committed to helping the people of Jackson and the state of Mississippi during this urgent time of need,” she said.

Jackson is grappling with multiple water problems – there’s been too much on the ground after heavy rainfall in the past week, and not enough safe water coming through the pipes for people to use.

Parts of Jackson were without running water Tuesday because flooding exacerbated longstanding problems in one of two water-treatment plants. 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.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said late Monday that he’s declaring a state of emergency for Jackson’s water system, and he issued the proclamation Tuesday. The state will try to help resolve problems by hiring contractors to work at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility, which was operating at diminished capacity with backup pumps after the main pumps failed “some time ago,” Reeves said.

Reeves also activated Mississippi’s National Guard to assist in Jackson, the CBS affiliate there, WJTV reported.

The station said both primary pumps are the Curtis plant were broken and were being serviced. Officials received a replacement pump that’s expected to be installed Wednesday to help improve water pressure, the station added.

Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Democratic mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, promised to make the capital “the most radical city on the planet” during his 2017 campaign, but so far he’s been unable to even solve even the city’s basic infrastructure problems and the city’s running water is now unsafe to drink.

He campaigned on plans to introduce universal basic income and alternatives to policing, to replace vacant lots with urban farms and to resolve chronic issues with the city’s water and roads in order to break the “cycles of humiliation” he said black residents experience in Jackson, the most heavily black large city in the U.S. Instead, the city’s water problems have worsened.

The city-run O.B. Curtis Water Plant has been plagued with issues for years and has issued numerous boil water notices, but recent flooding impeded its ability to offer reliable running water to 180,000 Jackson residents. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will be distributing water from tanker trucks at various points throughout the city, Lumumba told CNN.

Mississippi’s top health official, Dr. Dan Edney, said water in Jackson “is not safe to drink, and I’d even say it’s not safe to brush your teeth with,” reported local media.

Lumumba said last week that fixing Jackson’s water system could cost $200 million, but Tuesday he said the cost could run to “quite possibly the billions of dollars.”

  • moon says:


  • Observer says:

    The real problem can be summed up in one word for the city’s problems. Democrat, very simple when the big picture is enlarged. Every democrat city or state end up with the most deterioration and ultimate failure and collapse.

  • GymS says:

    1st, the disaster was 3 days ago. Take your time much joey? The REAL disaster was 1.20.2021.
    Anyway, he didn’t want to declare Mississippi a disaster area because the are mostly conservative.

  • T.M. says:

    I think what makes Biden’s near destruction of this country so much worse is that he actually seems gleeful about his role in it.



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