Jackson woman resorts to melting snow to drink in order to take her medications

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 8:33 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Thursday night, an estimated 43,000 water customers have low or no water pressure in the City of Jackson. This left one disabled woman having to take extreme measures to get water to drink with her many medications.

Teresa Smith has not had water for three days at her Apple Manor Apartment. She said she resorted to going outside and gathering ice that fell from vehicles in the parking lot of her apartment and rain water to boil and drink.

The 49-year-old has an auto immune illness and takes several medications daily. She is upset that the city is in this situation and believes the city should have been prepared.

“Drinking dirty water from outside off the ground is disgusting. The thought of it makes me to the point of having a panic attack,” said Smith.

Mayor Lumumba said freezing temperatures and mechanical problems at the water treatment plant are causing water issues.

“We are treating water that is being pumped but that is critically short and so we are monitoring the amount of chemicals that we have available,” said Lumumba. “We are making every effort in order to get those chemicals in.”

Road conditions are delaying the arrival of water treatment chemicals. It is also delaying the arrival of water that the city plans to distribute to residents.

Residents without water should be able to get bottled water at six locations in Jackson and the Byram Fire Station Friday.

They are Smith Wills Stadium, the Metrocenter Mall parking lot, Willow Woods Community center, JPD Precinct 1, The Virgy P Middleton Community Center and the Jackson Police Academy.

Residents will be able to get non-drinking water for flushing on Friday. The city will make details available.

“Hopefully by this weekend we will start seeing some pressure build back up and water will slowly be restored,” said Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams. “Unfortunately it’s very difficult for us to give a timeline on how the system responds because, once again, these type of temperatures and the way it affects the plant makes it really unpredictable.”

Williams warns that there could be more problems with pipes bursting when temperatures rise, causing more water main breaks. The city asks for patience while they work to make repairs. They also encourage residents to check on the elderly.

Those who are elderly or disabled and unable to get to the water distribution locations are asked to call Constituent Services and 311. They will make arrangements to get water to you.

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