Residents of Jackson, Mississippi continue to get by without clean water following a pair of winter storms. The city began to experience issues with its water supply after wintery conditions caused vital pipes to freeze and even burst. During this catastrophe, citizens have been advised to boil their water before using it. Others have had to shell out hundreds of dollars to buy bottled water over the last few weeks.
"We secured tankers tonight to provide non-potable water for Jackson to jumpstart the system and accelerate the fix," Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves tweeted.
"I have also activated the National Guard to complete the mission, and they will arrive early tomorrow (Wednesday). We will restore clean water for the people of Jackson!"
Angered by the city's handling of the matter, many citizens have complained about the lack of infrastructure and preparedness of local officials.
"This is pitiful and a shame," Alfred Anderson Jr. told WAPT in Mississippi.
"We pay all this money and we have got to come out here, most of these people, and wait on to try to get stuff to flush your toilets and, you know, do your hygiene stuff and whatever."
Attempting to regain control of the situation, Reeves admitted that the challenges Jackson faces today "were born over literally 30, 40, 50 years of negligence and ignoring the challenges of the pipes and the system." Unfortunately, this negligence will hurt the state's Black community the most. By percentage, Jackson routinely ranks as one of the Blackest cities in North America. Currently, more than 81% of the city identifies as Black. Making matters worse, it is difficult for residents to shell out hundreds of dollars for water when more than a quarter of the city lives below the poverty line.
The negligence within the state's largest city will have long-lasting effects that will not be fixed within the week, month or even year.
"That 50 years of deferred maintenance is not something that we're going to fix in the next six to eight hours," Reeves explained.
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