Spokesman: “Significant” day for water crisis

by Clay Chandler

Published: January 13,2010

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.’s spokesman Christopher Mims said today should be “a significant day as far as progress” goes in the city’s ongoing struggle with water lines shattering due to the cold weather.

According to Mims, 35 water lines were still broken as of 5 p.m. yesterday. Ten crews made up of utility personnel from seven cities across the state and a a crew from the Mississippi Department of Transportation have been sent out to tackle the line breaks. One of the city’s main water pump plants, which has been offline since the trouble started, is operational again and relieving some of the water pressure issues those who do have water service have been experiencing.

The breaks are not concentrated in any one area of the city, Mims said, describing the water outages as “scattered. We’re still working on the largest breaks first.”

Gov. Haley Barbour has ordered state offices to close for the third straight day. Lawmakers are still conducting business at the Capitol, but the building has no water service. Portable restrooms are set up in the north parking lot of the Capitol.

Jackson State Univesity and Millsaps College have closed their campuses until Tuesday. Belhaven University’s offices remain open, but classes are canceled until Monday.

Several restaurants have shuttered. Jeff Good, who owns Broad Street Baking Company, Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar and Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint, said in an email Tuesday morning they would remain closed until water pressure returned. “We’re still without water,” Good said Wednesday morning. “I would find it hard to believe that at least one of the locations wouldn’t have water by the end of the day.”

The Jackson-area coffee franchise, Cups, are operating at the Fondren and Lakeland Drive locations. The Regions Building location is closed. Amy Joyner, Cups officce manager, said Joe-to-Go Boxes are available for Jackson offices whose personnel are plowing through the lack of water.

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