JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One of Jackson’s biggest cheerleaders is taking a rare stance, asking people to help his business in light of the city’s water crisis.
The news comes even as an anonymous patron makes a $10,000 purchase in gift cards from the establishments.
Jeff Good, co-owner of three Jackson restaurants, outlined his restaurant’s struggles on Facebook Wednesday morning.
“This is day 15 of no water at Broad Street Bakery & Cafe ... We have been working directly with the city of Jackson ... they are doing all they can but this was truly a catastrophic failure of equipment and the recovery period will drag out until the entire web of water lines and water towers (is) repressurized,” he wrote.
Another one of his restaurants, Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint, on Taylor Street, opened on a limited basis earlier this week after being closed for more than 10 days with no water.
Good said he had avoided asking for help until now, saying that in light of the circumstances, “perhaps it is time to just go ahead and surrender and say ‘your help would be wonderful.’”
Meanwhile, Good is asking patrons to come back to his restaurants when they do reopen.
“We know your patterns of breakfast eating, coffee and pastry pick up, lunch ordering, afternoon snacking and dinner pick up have changed since we shuttered,” he wrote. “Habits are formed over time, through repetition and consistency. I fear that some of you may be building a new dining habit since we are not available.
“Please, please return. When we reopen, we will need you more than ever.”
Not all the news is bad for Good, though, with the restaurateur taking time on social media to thank a patron who purchased $10,000 in gift cards at Bravo! Italian Restaurant, his third Jackson location.
“We are all speechless,” he wrote. “Thank you for loving us ... supporting us ... caring for us.”
Jackson has been struggling to restore water for weeks after winter storms crippled production at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.
The plant, which is located in Ridgeland, brings in water from the Ross Barnett Reservoir, which it treats and sends out into the system.
However, the freezing temperatures brought in with the storms caused equipment there to freeze and water production to be cut by about half.
Typically, the plant can treat around 50 million gallons of water per day. However, during the storm, production fell to around 27 million gallons, Public Works Director Charles Williams said previously.
As a result of the decrease, the city’s reserve water tanks ran dry, water pressure fell and thousands of customers ended up with no water.
Williams said the city has been working to rebuild pressure in the system and explained that it needed to be around 90 PSI at the Curtis plant for water to be restored across the capital city.
However, pressure has yet to reach that point and has hovered in the mid-80s, and efforts to fully restore pressure have been met with several setbacks.
Among them, the city has experienced a number of water main breaks as the pressure in the system comes back up.
In all, about 80 breaks have been reported, of which 58 have been repaired.
Another setback occurred on Wednesday, March 3, when a mechanical issue was reported at one of the Curtis plant’s raw water screens, forcing the city to cut production so the issue could be fixed.
The raw water screens filter water being brought into the plant from the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
To make repairs, the city had to shut down production on the plant’s conventional treatment side, causing pressure there to fall to around 60 PSI.
On the conventional side, water is pumped in directly from the reservoir and allowed to settle in a large basin before being chemically treated. On the membrane side, water is diverted past the conventional basin and pushed through membrane filters before being treated.
Williams hopes to have the problem fixed today. “We’re addressing that now. We’re trying to get it back up as quick as possible.”