Cold snap causes water crisis for some Mississippi residents

edelmar/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(JACKSON, Miss.) — As power and water outages rock the South, among the hard-hit cities is Jackson, Mississippi, where most residents face little to no water pressure.

“We do not have a definitive timeline as to when the water will be restored within the tanks,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said at a news conference Thursday. “We are continuing to pump into the tanks and we are continuing to try to recover.”

“This becomes increasingly challenging” due to the pandemic, Lumumba said, because so many residents are at home instead of school, which means people are trying to use water at a higher rate than usual.

“Hopefully by this weekend you will start seeing some pressure build back up and water will slowly be restored,” Williams said Thursday, adding that it’s difficult to give a timeline because the weather impacts are “unpredictable.”

“We continue to ask for your patience,” Williams said. “We’re working around the clock.”

A boil water notice was issued Thursday.

Jackson officials are offering water distribution at several sites Friday.

Besides the water emergency, between 18,000 to 19,000 customers in Jackson were without power Thursday, largely due to limbs falling on power lines as a result of freezing rain, the mayor said.

Lumumba warned that roads are still topped with ice and urged caution while driving to get basic necessities.

“This is the time … to help one another, especially our must vulnerable constituents,” City Council President Aaron Banks said.

After a week of historic and disastrous snow, ice and cold in the South, the freezing temperatures will soon lift. A hard freeze warning is in effect in Mississippi Friday morning but temperatures are expected to rise this weekend.

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