(Washington) The inhabitants of Jackson, the capital of the American state of Mississippi, are again deprived of running water, several pipes having exploded under the effect of the cold.
The leaks, some of which have not been located, caused the pressure in the network to drop, paralyzing the water supply in a large part of this city of 150,000 inhabitants, 80% of whom are African-Americans.
Authorities have called for water to be boiled, while it is still flowing, and declared a local state of emergency. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba admitted Tuesday at a press conference to face the “worst case scenario”.
“We have to deal with an old and failing system which continues to give us problem after problem”, added the city councilor, admitting the “weariness” of his constituents in the face of the multiplication of crises.
This city, among the poorest in the United States, had already been deprived of water for almost a month by a cold snap in early 2021.
This summer, devastating floods paralyzed the water supply network for several days, the pipes providing at best only a brownish liquid unfit for consumption.
In November, the Justice Department stepped in, appointing a federal administrator to oversee an overhaul of the system. And the budget just adopted by elected members of Congress allocates 600 million dollars to solve “the water crisis in Jackson”.
In the meantime, several drinking water distribution sites have been opened in the city to deal with the latest crisis and, according to local media, the frustration of the inhabitants there was palpable. “It can’t last any longer,” Michael Broom, 34, told Clarion-Ledger.
Similar problems have been noted in other parts of the southern United States, where infrastructure has not been designed to cope with the extreme temperatures experienced around Christmas.
The situation was slowly returning to normal on Wednesday in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Florence, South Carolina, but some residents of Asheville, North Carolina, remained without drinking water.