Residents of Mississippi's largest city are "tired of apologies" but have no choice but to endure ongoing water stoppages in the wake of extreme weather, officials said Tuesday.
The city of Jackson told residents to go to any of one of four locations around town on Tuesday afternoon to pick up water, as there's no clear end to the current crisis brought by subfreezing temperatures.
"I have spoken to residents who are tired of apologies," Mayor Antar Lumumba told reporters Tuesday, saying there's no telling when this current stoppage will end.
This past weekend's winter freeze led to broken pipes, leaving thousands of residents of Mississippi's biggest city and state capital without safe, running water.
“There is no way to prevent what is happening to our water treatment facility. We do not control Mother Nature," Lumumba said. "We are dealing with an old and crumbling system that continues to offer challenge after challenge."
Lumumba thanked crews looking for pipe breaks throughout the city, as federal, state and local authorities continue to look for a lasting solution to Jackson's frayed system.
"They continue to work at the water treatment facility, they continue to be a part of the coordinated effort to repair breaks where they have taken place," the mayor said.
“And so this will not only be the case throughout this emergency. But as we are well aware, this will be our norm for some time as we have reached this agreement with the EPA."
A representative for the Jackson Zoo said there's enough water to make sure animals are safe and Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Armon assured residents they have enough resources to fight flames.
While several fire stations have no running water, each unit has at least 500 gallons on hand so firefighters should be able to make that stretch for the time being, according to Armon.
"We do have the ability ... to fight fires in circumstances or situations where we have low water pressure," Armon said
The city issued a boil-water notice on Christmas Day and asked residents to turn off faucets and check businesses and churches for leaks and broken pipes.
Jackson officials told residents on Monday that there were “significant leaks in the system that we have yet to identify.”
The city of about 150,000 has an overwhelmingly Black population with more than 82% of residents identifying as African American.
A flood in August also wreaked havoc on the distribution system and forced residents to scramble for water.