Six hundred members of the Mississippi National Guard will be deployed to Jackson starting Thursday to help with water distribution, officials said Wednesday, as they grapple with an ongoing water crisis plaguing the inhabitants.
No timetable was given for repairs to water pumps at the OB Curtis water treatment plant in Jackson, but 72 hours of severe weather caused major outages at the plant, the official said. Governor Tate Reeves at a press conference Wednesday.
“There’s an awful lot of work to do at the OB Curtis factory,” he said. “There will be future disruptions; they are not avoidable at this stage.”
Jackson has been using backup pumps since the main pumps were damaged, Reeves said Monday.
Officials said there will be no reliable running water in Jackson, which will affect up to 180,000 people until the pump is fixed.
State officials also warned residents not to drink the water from the pipes if they could avoid it, adding that if they must use the water, boil it first.
“Don’t open your mouth in the shower or give your pets water,” Jim Craig, senior deputy and director of the state’s Office of Health Protection, told the conference. Wednesday press release.
The city has been under a boil water advisory since July 29.
Reeves declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, allowing state officials to better assist Jackson.
The White House approved Reeves’ request for federal aid on Tuesday night.
“An emergency exists in the State of Mississippi and has ordered federal assistance to supplement state response efforts due to emergency conditions resulting from a water crisis,” the White House said in a statement. A press release.