Jackson residents, business owners beyond frustrated with water system issues

Some cite lack of timely communication from city as part of the problem

Jackson residents, business owners beyond frustrated with water system issues

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As an estimated 43,000 homes in the Capital City remain under a boil water notice, many Jacksonians say they’re disappointed once again because of Friday’s treatment plant shutdown that interrupted water service for hours and the lack of timely communication that followed.

“I’m sure that you don’t want people to leave, but you’re not doing anything to make us stay,” said salon owner Felicia Brisco, who told 3 On Your Side she didn’t find out about the water pressure drop until she came into work that morning.

“When we tried the water and sewer, we got a busy signal. We weren’t able to get them, so we called the mayor’s office and the young lady answered the phone and said everybody had been calling because the water was out all over the city. She didn’t have any answers for me, either,” Brisco said.

Brisco wasn’t the only one who felt in the dark that morning.

Fondren resident Crystal Gates said the whole situation severely inconvenienced her because of how the water woes affected the Jackson Public School District.

“It was around 8:30. After my son got on the school bus, the school sent us text messages about no water or low pressure, and they were closing the school down,” Gates said. “The school informed me, not the city of Jackson.”

Hours after pressure began to return to most homes, hundreds of vehicles made their way through a distribution site at the Metrocenter Mall, made up of residents getting water for their homes while they wait for another boil water notice to be lifted.

One of those in line said she feels that the city should do more, pointing to the beleaguered billing system.

“They take our money for the water bill. If we don’t pay it, then they’re gonna cut our water off. Why cut our water off if we ain’t got any?” said Helen Smith, who lives in south Jackson.

The city’s Code Red system also first notified residents two and a half hours after the mayor’s communication team told media outlets about the cause of the water outage.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said they’re going to look into why those notifications were delayed so long before getting to those who need that information.

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