Weekslong Water Crisis Continues In Mississippi, Hitting Black Residents Hardest

Infrastructure failures following bitterly cold temperatures caused dozens of water mains to burst and freeze, leaving thousands without running water for weeks

Lamar Jackson, left, stacks bottled water brought by Mac Epps of Mississippi Move at a senior residence in Jackson, Mississippi, on Feb. 22, 2021. Rising temperatures have melted the snow and ice in Mississippi, but tens of thousands of people still had little or no water service

When the extreme cold first touched the South in mid-February, Texas officials ― specifically, Texas Republicans ― were roundly criticized for their long-standing opposition to weatherizing the state’s power supply, a progressive energy priority. But widespread infrastructure failures during and after the cold front weren’t confined to Texas.

In recent days, Jackson, Mississippi, has also come into national focus as some parts of the majority-Black city enter day 13 of a water shortage caused by main breaks. Jackson is nearly 80% Black and has nearly 170,000 residents.

Those using the city’s water system have been on a boil water advisory for the past week, meaning the city has advised them that water main breaks caused by the cold have left some areas with no water, low water pressure or potentially toxic material traveling through the pipes. Officials in the state and private donors have been distributing bottled water to help residents weather the shortage.

Source: Huffington Post and Mississippi Today and The Daily Beast