FEMA Director Says It’s “Too Early” To Tell When Mississippi’s Capital Will Have Clean Water Again

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said Sunday that it’s too early to say when residents of Mississippi’s capital will have clean water again, CNN reports.

Thousands of Jackson residents have been without enough water to flush their toilets and without enough clean water to brush their teeth after a major failure at a water treatment plant last week.

City officials said Sunday that most residents should now have normal water pressure.

"All tanks saw increased storage levels overnight. Multiple tanks are approaching full. We no longer have any tanks at low levels. All of Jackson should now have pressure and most are now experiencing normal pressure," the city said in a press release even as it warned of “additional challenges.”

No clean water:

Jackson residents are still under a boil-water advisory that has been in effect since July 30 due to a high "level of manganese combined with the use of lime" at the O.B. Curtis plant in nearby Ridgeland, the city said.

The treatment plant’s main pumps were damaged in July and forced the facility to run on smaller backup pumps.

Heavy rain and flooding in August caused a chemical imbalance and the water treatment facility began failing on Monday.

FEMA unsure:

Criswell said it was too early to say when the city’s 150,000 residents may get clean water again.

"There has been a lot of infrastructure damage that has been present for many years," Criswell told CNN. But "I think that having EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, we had a really good conversation on Friday about what it's going to take and the assessments they're doing. It's going to happen in phases."

But city officials are not optimistic about the future.

"As I have always warned, even when the pressure is restored, even when we're not under a boil water notice, it's not a matter of if these systems will fail, but when these systems will fail," Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said told ABC News. "There are many points of failure. We're talking about a set of accumulated challenges that have taken place over the better part of 30 years."


Related News