US In Jackson, Mississippi, some residents have been without water going on two weeks
UCLA Gymnast, Whose Floor Routine to Janet Jackson's Hits Went Viral, Tears Up During Call with Icon
"It just inspired me to want to do more, and do better and be stronger," Janet Jackson said while FaceTiming with UCLA gymnast Margzetta Frazier had a phone call to remember with Janet Jackson. © Provided by People Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images; Kyusung Gong/AP/Shutterstock Janet Jackson, Margzetta Frazier On Friday, shortly after the college athlete debuted a new floor routine set to some of Jackson's biggest hits, she received a call from the music icon herself. "I just want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your talent. It's so beautiful to see you tumble.
Many residents of Jackson, Mississippi, have been without water since a winter storm hit the area in. And many are still not sure when it will return.
The storm, which also affected Texas and Louisiana, caused 80 water breaks throughout the city. Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams said Monday that 50 have now been repaired, but the water crisis is far from over.
"The system got so far down, and we got behind, and now we're trying to play catch up," he said.
Bloody Sunday plans, defining pandemics, teacher dilemmas: News from around our 50 states
How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
Jackson has been on a boil-water advisory since February 23. Meanwhile, some residents are still experiencing little to no water pressure in parts of the city.
The city has taken to providing "flushing water" to residents, and has continued distributing water bottles, said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba during the Monday news conference. The Pelicans, New Orleans' NBA team, are also donating two truckloads of bottled water to the residents, the team said Monday, with distribution being handled by the city.
The major issue, city officials said, is the aging infrastructure, which has delayed full access to water.
"Our system just, you know, basically crashed like a computer, and now we're trying to rebuild it," Williams said during a briefing Sunday. "It's just, the progress has been very slow."
Opinion: What's happening in Texas and Mississippi has to stop
Peniel Joseph says the winter storm aftermath in Texas and Mississippi that has disproportionately hit Black and Latinx communities and left many still without access to clean water is one facet of a decades-long national crisis of race and democracy.The historic winter storm that crippled Texas during the third week of February spotlighted the Lone Star State's pervasive history of structural racism. Similarly, it revealed how seemingly universal crises, such as climate change and catastrophes sometimes referred to as "acts of God" affect some communities much more severely than others.
At that same briefing, Lumumba said the city still doesn't know how many people are without water, but it's aware the primary areas impacted are the west and south parts of the city.
The city of Jackson is 82% Black, according. The majority of White residents in the area live in wealthier suburbs to the north and east of the city.
The water problem has been such a major fact of life in the state, that one Mississippi-based online retailer is"Welcome to Boil Water Alert Mississippi."
On the city's official Facebook page, theare filled with many people admonishing the government for not fixing the water infrastructure in Jackson in years past.
"Every year we have some type of issue with the water. This didn't just start but every year you gotta PLAN and stop just trying to put a bandage on the problem WHEN it happens," said Facebook user Mary Evans Fox.
Mississippi Mayor Calls Out Governor for Putting Lives 'in Jeopardy' by Lifting Mask Mandate
"It is against the advice of our health experts, and it is premature," Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.Reeves, a Republican, made the announcement with the signing of an executive order on Tuesday. The mandate will be lifted as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but the governor said Mississippi residents were still encouraged to wear the face coverings. Indoor businesses will still be restricted to operating at 50 percent capacity, masks will remain required in K-12 schools and municipalities are free to maintain their own local mask mandates.
"They have had over three years to fix the problem what is their excuse," wrote user Bettye Franklin. "If this was a White city I guarantee you it would be fixed."
The city will need money and resources to prevent events like this from happening again, Lumumba said Monday, saying the pipes in the city are over 100 years old.
Jackson currently does not have the funds to adequately fix damaged infrastructure he said, explaining, "We need long-term support to deal with this issue that has gone without being addressed sufficiently for decades."
Mississippi, Only State to See Spike in COVID Cases Over Past Week, Eases Restrictions .
According to data from the COVID Tracking Project, Mississippi saw a 62.4 percent increase in cases over a seven-day period. On February 23 the state was reporting an average of 358.3 new cases a day, but this number has since increased to 581.9, as of Tuesday. Overall, Mississippi has seen at least 295,675 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, as well as 6,743 deaths.The uptick in cases in Mississippi over the past week comes as Governor Tate Reeves announced the removal of the statewide mask mandate and the removal of restrictions on nearly all businesses.