Officials in Jackson, Mississippi, announced that water pressure had been restored to normal levels on Monday after many residents went days without access to enough water to flush toilets or bathe.
In a statement, Jackson representatives said tanks at O.B. Curtis Water Plant “held steady overnight” and into the morning, with the plant’s output meeting the city’s goal of 87 pounds per square inch (PSI).
“All of Jackson should now have pressure, and most are now experiencing normal pressure,” the city said while noting that “additional challenges as repairs and adjustments are made leave potential for fluctuations in progress.”
Residents in Jackson have been under a boil-water order for more than 30 days after a deteriorating system failed during recent flooding in the city. Many were left to rely on bottled water to drink and perform everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth or washing their children.
During a press conference, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said residents could “trust” that water pressure had been restored for their homes.
“There may be more bad days in the future, we have, however, reached a place where people in Jackson can trust that water will come out of the faucet,” he said, per CNN. “People in Jackson can trust the toilets can be flushed.”
Per CBS affiliate WJTV, the city also received help from mutual aid teams from Georgia and Florida.
The development comes a week after Tate declared a state of emergencyin response to the water crisis.
“The is a very different situation from a boil water notice — which is also a serious situation which the residents of Jackson have become tragically numb to,” Reeves said in a statement at the time.
He added: “Until it is fixed, it means we do not have reliable running water at scale. It means the city cannot produce enough water to reliably flush toilets, fight fire and meet other critical needs.”
Despite the progress, Jackson’s boil-water advisory remains in effect. According to CNN, the city needs to collect two rounds of clear water samples to end the advisory, and they hope to begin testing in the next few days.
On Monday, Jackson Public Schools announced that students would return to the classroom on Tuesday after water pressure at “nearly all” schools reached “suitable” levels. Students were asked to participate in online learning over the last week.
However, the district said schools with air conditioning systems that depend on water might experience delays in reaching the “coolest possible temperatures.”
According to NBC News, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said overhauling the city’s water infrastructure could cost billions.
“We’re already in a life-or-death crisis,” Danyelle Holmes, a Jackson resident and organizer, told the outlet. “Lives have been compromised daily due to the water crisis and pushing this another year to 2023 is simply not going to work for the citizens of Jackson, especially when we talk about humanity and preserving life.”
Even before the most recent crisis, Jackson residents often had to deal with disruptions and water main breaks, per NBC News.
Last week, President Joe Biden approved Reeves’ request for a federal emergency declaration to send federal assistance to the region.
This entire situation is shameful.