JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Emergencies have been declared by the Governor and Jackson's mayor as water lines erupt across the city, dropping water pressure.
The breaks have forced the closure of state offices, schools and businesses and prompted officials to issue precautionary boil water notices.
Jackson Public schools and offices will be closed on Tuesday.
Officials with the Governor's office say all state agencies will be closed as well.
Meanwhile, public works crews worked around the clock.
Following days of sub-freezing temperatures pipes throughout Jackson's infrastructure thawed and ruptured.
Monday evening a public works crew was repairing its third water line break on Old Canton Road near Fondren Place.
Crew leader David Yates said his team has been working non-stop since seven o'clock Monday morning.
The mayor asked residents to boil water, conserve water and be patient while repairs are made.
"This is a very very serious matter. In fact we have not seen this type of strain on our water system since 1989," said Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.
The second shift crew was scheduled to tackle a break on Meadowbrook Road near Brook Drive after seven p.m.
Barricades were set up to shut down traffic on the two lanes where water is rushing through the pavement.
The city has battled more than 70 water lines breaks since Wednesday.
"The pipe material that we're using now to replace the line is much better most of our system is cast iron and as y'all know cast iron is very brittle," said Deputy Public Works Director David Willis.
Grocery stores like McDade's were busy into the night with Jackson residents stocking up on bottled water.
Shoppers filled their carts by the caseload.
"I think it's gonna be bad especially on the sick people. Which I've been a sick man for seven/eight years, and I was just lucky to get out and get me some water," said Earnest Archie who said he also purchased cases of water for his son and other relatives.
Governor Haley Barbour declared a State of Emergency.
At the capitol bottled water was stored for legislators.
Portable rest rooms were also installed outside on the north side of the building.
Water was also shut off to the Hinds County Juvenile Detention Center.
Hinds county officials said a major water main burst Friday preventing use of showers and commodes.
Water was brought in for drinking, brushing teeth and other hygienic needs.
There are currently 29 male and 6 female detainees at the facility.
Mayor Johnson asks citizens report any water leaks they see as they travel the city.
Please call 601-960-1111 to inform the city of the problem.
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