Deion Sanders Shares Jackson’s Water Crisis in Real Time

The poor state of the city’s water infrastructure has left its residents to live off provisioned bottled water

Jackson, Mississippi is grappling with water problems. File photo courtesy of Svitlana/Adobe Stock

Coach Deion Sanders, head coach at Jackson State University in Mississippi, has been looking for a place for his team to take showers because there is currently no clean, running water available in the city of Jackson. Sanders took to his Instagram page to speak out about the situation. “The Devil is a Lie! This ain’t nothing but a moment of discomfort and we will be alright. Jackson we’ve overcome a lot more than this baby,” he wrote. Sanders added that he is looking for lodging and a practice facility for his players, especially those who are living in university dorms, so they could take care of their basic needs. “Water means we don’t have air conditioning. Can’t use toilets,” Coach Sanders said. “We don’t have water, therefore we don’t have ice, which pretty much places a burden on the program. So right now we’re operating in crisis mode.”

Jackson in Crisis Mode

Jackson, Mississippi is grappling with two water problems: floods after heavy rainfall in the past week, and not enough potable water coming through the pipes for its people to use. Most of Jackson’s residents have been relying on 12-ounce bottled water which they had to wait for hours in lines all week long just to get a one-case worth of provision.

The flooding exacerbated longstanding problems in one of the city’s two treatment plants. The Health Department discovered hazy water that can cause stomach issues, thus the city was already on a “boil-water” alert for a month. In a report by NewsOne, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said the city’s water-treatment plants were operating at reduced capacity even before the floods. At least one of the facilities was already using its backup pumps after the main ones failed.

The problems with Jackson’s water supply are symptomatic of a larger infrastructure crisis in the city, which has been deteriorating for years. In 2020, a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Jackson an Infrastructure Report Card grade of D which is described as “poor [and] at risk.” It’s just a grade above F which is described as “failing/critical [and] unfit for purpose.” The city’s water system, according to Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, is plagued by understaffing and “decades of deferred maintenance,” as reported by NewsOne. The process of pushing water out to consumers was hampered, he claimed, since the water inflow from the torrential rain affected the chemical composition required for treatment.


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