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Repairs Will Restrict Water Usage In Mississippi's State Capital


Thousands of people in Mississippi are getting in one more shower this morning before the weekend. At least 40,000 residents in the state could be without water starting today in the state capital of Jackson. Crews are working to repair a major water line. And it will likely take several days before service is restored. Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Desare Frazier reports.

DESARE FRAZIER, BYLINE: Michael Garner is at home in his kitchen.


FRAZIER: But he's getting ready not to have anything flow from his faucet.

That sound may go away soon for you.

MICHAEL GARNER: (Laughter) I hope not.

FRAZIER: This all started last month, when a 48-inch water line broke, affecting 40,000 homes and businesses. Workers tried to fix the break but found two more. Crews plan to repair them all at once. Hinds County Emergency Management Director Ricky Moore says it's an ongoing problem.

RICKY MOORE: Our infrastructure statewide is getting older in a lot of the cities. So any one of these cities could have the same issue.

FRAZIER: The city of Jackson has declared a state of emergency and will shut the water off this afternoon and hope to have it back on by Sunday. But officials can't guarantee how long the repairs will actually take. Some residents will have low water pressure. And others won't have service at all.

In addition to stocking up on bottled water, people have also been asked to stay with others not in the affected area. Residents seem to be taking it in stride. Patty Watson owns D'Tangled Salon. Her shop will be open but with reduced service.

PATTY WATSON: We'll just be doing dry cuts until we know exactly what's going on with the water.

FRAZIER: The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is on standby just in case repairs take longer than expected. Lee Smithson is the director.

LEE SMITHSON: We've got the authority to call out the National Guard who's got water assets to be able to bring in to the city, both bulk water and then soldiers to help hand out individual drinking water.

FRAZIER: But for tens of thousands of people, it also means three days without taking a shower or a bath. For NPR News, I'm Desare Frazier in Jackson, Miss.

(SOUNDBITE OF PABLIE'S "SINCE THEN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Desare Frazier
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