Water problems force Jackson into state of emergency - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Water problems force Jackson into state of emergency

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Freezing temperatures, busted lines and water pouring over city streets has forced Jackson into a state of emergency.

Jackson has not seen a problem like this since 1989 water lines bursting all across the city with public works crews scrambling to fix them. 

"Now we are seeing drops in water line pressure across the city in some instances facilities are without water all together," said Mayor Harvey Johnson.

Several consecutive days of subfreezing temperatures are wreaking havoc on brittle cast iron pipes some of which are more than a century old.

"Going through these freeze/thaw cycles and the Yazoo clay there's only so many times it can be stressed before it breaks," said City of Jackson Public Works Deputy Director David Willis.

Harvey Johnson has called a state of emergency asking all Jackson residents to boil their water used for drinking and conserve as much as possible.  That news had bottled water flying off grocery store shelves. 

"My water was running really slow after they said they had no water so I ran the bath tub so I could flush, so I could be prepared," said Elizabeth Campbell, who lives and works in Jackson.

The weather is slowly warming up, but that doesn't mean the water crisis is going to end soon.  "I want people to understand that this is a problem.  Just because the sun is out and just because we reach temperatures above freezing that we're out of the woods.  We are not out of the woods.  In fact, as some of these pipes thaw out, we'll discover even more leaks," said Mayor Johnson.

If you notice a water line break, please call Jackson's Action Line at (601) 960-1111.

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