Sustainability Infrastructure

Mississippi water woes drag on weeks after storms

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Story at a glance

  • Many residents of Jackson, Miss., have been without water for weeks since Winter Storm Uri.
  • Frigid temperatures rendered multiple water treatment plants inoperable.

Devastation brought unto the southern U.S. by winter storm Uri infamously left millions of Texans without power, but it has also prompted water outages in Jackson, Miss. — exposing a longstanding issue in the city’s water systems.

Multiple outlets report that thanks to frigid temperatures, multiple water treatment facilities froze past operating. This outage started around Feb. 15 and has persisted for some Jackson residents.

Jackson Mayor Choke Antar Lumumba (D) has frequently taken to Twitter to announce where residents can find potable and non potable water sources in the city.



The Clarion-Ledger reports that the city remains under a boil alert, meaning all tap water must be boiled prior to ingesting or using. 

City officials have said that Jackson’s western regions are still without service and that there is no definitive timeline as to when water will be restored.

“We understand the frustration, we understand the complaints,” Jackson Public Works Director Charles Williams said. “We did not expect this to happen, but we’re dealing with the aftermath of it.”

Lumumba noted that it is difficult to identify exactly where outages are and how many customers it affects since the water system is an older legacy system. 

This continued utility outage comes as The American Society of Civil Engineers rated the U.S.’s infrastructure systems with a “C minus” grade. Exerts noted that more government investment is needed to strengthen various public utility systems through crises.