JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The water crisis began at the O.B. Curtis plant. City crews had to search for the problem to determine why Jackson's water system was losing pressure. Around 4:45 Thursday morning crews found a 54-inch main had blown it's cap, releasing thousands of gallons of water.
"We don't know, and we're not quite sure what caused the cap to blow off," Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson. "It's one of our largest water transmission lines that we have in the city."
The impact of the break was felt all over the city. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors issued an emergency declaration, and at one point prepared to send county workers in Jackson home.
The International Ballet Competition shifted plans but continued events Thursday night, but all four locations of the Boys and Girls Clubs were closed, and programs for Jackson Public Schools were canceled.
Bravo restaurant owner Jeff Good had a computerized action plan. He wasted no time getting water boiled or brought in.
The last water crisis in January, when frigid temperatures caused more than 120 line breaks, helped prepare him to deal with the problem.
"It's not the end of the world. Having no water like the freeze, that's shut down. Having limited water, you can operate. It's stressful," said Good.
The leak affected about 100-thousand people in Jackson along with animals.
At the state fairgrounds, hundreds of out-of-state visitors with over 900 high-dollar Appaloosa show horses felt the effects of the crisis. King Show Horses owner Christy King said water for the animals is critical.
"They got to have water, especially in this heat, so we filled every extra bucket we had," said King. "We filled all the stalls up. We've ordered a big water tank to come in."
City workers will pull 120 samples from locations around Jackson Friday to send to the Mississippi State Health Department. After two consecutive days of clear tests the precautionary boil water alert will be lifted.
Hospitals in the city either had their own wells or had water brought in. Some medical clinics did close.
Governor Haley Barbour allowed state department heads to send home all but essential personnel.
Again, the City of Jackson is still under the precautionary boil water notice Thursday night. You should bring water to a rolling boil for one minute for cooking or baking, making ice cubes, taking medication, brushing teeth, washing food, mixing baby formula or food, mixing juices or feeding pets. You don't have to boil the water for showers, washing dishes or clothing.
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