Pres. Biden briefed on Jackson water crisis; Gov. Reeves requesting federal disaster declaration

Firefighters and recruits for the Jackson, Miss., Fire Department carry cases of bottled water...
Firefighters and recruits for the Jackson, Miss., Fire Department carry cases of bottled water to residents vehicles, Aug. 18, 2022, as part of the city's response to longstanding water system problems.(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 12:35 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - President Joe Biden has been briefed on the water crisis in the City of Jackson, and the White House “stand[s] ready” to assist.

This according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a tweet on Tuesday.

During an emergency press briefing Monday night, Governor Tate Reeves urged Jackson residents not to drink tap water from their homes following the city’s main water treatment plant failing.

This hours after Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said production at the city’s main treatment facility had been cut due to complications from Pearl River flooding. About 150,000 people are impacted by the cuts in service, health department officials said Monday.

“We are closely monitoring the floods in Mississippi, and the @POTUS has been briefed,” Jean-Pierre wrote. “At his direction, we have been in regular contact with state and local officials, including Mayor Lumumba, and made clear that the Federal Government stands ready to offer assistance.”

“We will continue to partner closely with state and local officials to support the people of Mississippi, and stand ready to assist further as soon as we receive an official request from the state,” she added.

Not long after tweeting this, Gov. Reeves responded, saying that the state has created an incident command center to step in and restore water at the city’s plant.

“We are sending a request for a federally-declared disaster to support state and city emergencies. Clear communication between locals/state/feds. Please keep Jackson in your prayers!” he concluded.

In a statement on Tuesday, Representative Bennie Thompson said that he had been advised that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will request an emergency declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency “imminently.”

In other tweets, Jean-Pierre said that FEMA is working closely with state officials to identify needs and that the EPA is coordinating with industry partners to “expedite” the delivery of critical treatment equipment for emergency repairs at Jackson water treatment facilities.

Jean-Pierre stated that the City of Jackson is using over $20 million in American Rescue Plan to address water and sewer infrastructure needs.

She said that the White House has also made about $75 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding available to provide clean and safe water across the state of Mississippi.

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