Aug 30, 2022
Water crisis in Mississippi Transcript
An emergency has been declared in Jackson, Mississippi, because up to 250,000 people will be without water indefinitely. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
This morning, people in Jackson, Mississippi are being told to expect little or no water for an undetermined amount of time. Shoppers raced to this Walmart for bottled water last night only to find empty shelves. All Jackson public schools are switching to virtual learning indefinitely. And the Lieutenant governor says, “Our understanding is the water and sewer system serving 250,000 citizens of the state and numerous businesses is at the brink of collapsing.”
Speaker 2: (00:29)
It means the city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets.
Speaker 1: (00:36)
In some parts of the city, the fire department is finding no water in fire hydrants.
Speaker 3: (00:41)
All of our units have 500 gallons of water on it, and the guys can use that water to sustain a lot of incidents with just that.
Speaker 1: (00:51)
The warnings come after a pump at the city’s troubled water treatment facility was damaged. The governor says he was told last week that a failure was possible.
Speaker 2: (01:01)
There was a near certainty that Jackson would fail to produce running water sometime in the next several weeks or months. Unfortunately, that failure appears to have begun today.
Speaker 1: (01:12)
Jackson residents have been under boiled water notices since last month when water samples found harmful contaminant levels. The mayor blames issues of the city’s water and sewage plants on staffing shortages and decades of deferred maintenance. And now flooding from the Pearl river is making the problem even worse.
Speaker 4: (01:32)
And because of the river water that is coming into the plant, we have to change the way we treat the water, which consequently reduces the tank levels.
Speaker 1: (01:42)
So the governor has now called in the national guard to help distribute bottled water.
George Stephanopoulos: (01:48)
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