Thousands of homes in portions of the Capitol City could be without water for three days. Mississippi Emergency Management is planning to help the city, if repairs take longer than planned.
The City of Jackson is operating under a state of emergency. Crews will shut off water Friday at 3 p.m. to Sunday at 3, to repair a major water line. Sandeep Bal owns a convenience store in South Jackson, an area affected by the repair. He says the Mississippi Department of Health told him he may have low water pressure or no water at all. Bal decided he won't be selling cooked food over the weekend.
"Yes I do lose money because I cook chicken and pizza and we do have a Slushy machine here. So, I'm going to be losing $1,000 maybe $2,000 over the weekend," said Bal.
The 48 1/2 inch water line broke in February. Brandon Falcon, Jackson's Director of Emergency Management, says when they tried to fix it they found two more leaks.
"Then when we got down there we found the other two 16 inch valve problems and we didn't want to shut the water down in three stages so what we decided to do was back-up, get the valves and do it all at one time," said Falcon.
Falcon estimates 40,000 homes will be impacted by the water shutoff. He says the affected areas extend from west and south Jackson, to Byram. He's urging residents to buy water and fill their tubs with water to flush toilets. Mississippi Emergency Management is on standby. Director Lee Smithson says a state of emergency declaration is prepared for the governor to sign, if repairs takes longer than expected.
"We've got the ability to go into the Disaster Trust Fund to purchase bulk water to assist the city. We've got the authority to call out the National Guard which has water assets," said Smithson.
Restaurants that remain open must have a contingency plan coordinated by the health department. The City of Jackson will distribute water at three locations beginning Friday.