“Where we are focused right now from FEMA is being able to make sure that we can provide and support the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency with bringing in safe drinking water, bottled water, supporting their operations ― but more importantly, bringing in our federal partners that can really understand what it’s going to take to bring this plant back to full operational capacity,” she said.
“So it’s going to happen in phases, right? The focus right now is making sure we can get bottled water out. But also, we’re providing temporary measures to help increase the water pressure, so people can at least flush their toilets and use the faucets,” Criswell said. “The longer term and the mid-term about how long it’s going to take to actually make it safe to drink ― I think that we have a lot more to learn about what it’s going to take to get that plant up and running.”
Jackson’s Democratic mayor, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, has long blamed the city’s crumbling infrastructure on climate change and inaction from the state legislature ― a mostly white, conservative body. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves ® has blamed the problems on mismanagement by the city government.
“I have to be optimistic. I have to make certain that we don’t let anybody off the hook and we continue to see this into its conclusion,” Lumumba told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.” “And its conclusion won’t be even after water is restored this week and even after the ‘boil water’ notice is lifted.”
“Its conclusion won’t take place until we can look the residents of Jackson in the face and say, you know, we have a greater sense of reliability, that we believe in this system, and we believe in the equity of this system and that certain portions of our city won’t be disproportionately affected by this, week in and week out,” he said.