Jackson woman who melted snow to take medication still without water

Jackson woman resorts to melting snow to drink in order to take her medications
Jackson woman resorts to melting snow to drink in order to take her medications
Updated: Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:10 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A woman who has been without water for five days and who had resulted to melting ice to flush her toilet and take her medicine is still without water.

Teresa Smith said the city of Jackson delivered her some bottled water on Friday.

However, the water was left in the lobby of her apartment complex on Joanne Street and by the time she went down to get it, it had been taken.

Smith, who is disabled, had asked that the water be delivered directly to her third-floor apartment.

“I’m very weak and in pain and I can’t swallow my medicine,” she said.

3 On Your Side reached out to the Jackson Police Department, who said they are currently out of water.

We also called Michelle Atoa, the city’s director of communications, who said they are taking a list of individuals who still need water.

The city’s plans for Saturday was to distribute water to the elderly and home-bound residents.

Meanwhile, Smith is facing other challenges. She can no longer feed her cats, because an order for cat food she placed through FedEx on Feb. 3 has yet to arrive.

“Not only do I not have water, now my cats don’t have any food,” she said. “I’m not going to eat anything until my cats do.”

Smith has two cats, emotional support animals.

“I don’t care anymore … I’m going on a hunger strike,” she said. “I’m not going to eat one thing until my children eat.”

She continues to scrape up ice to flush her toilet. Now, she said pine needles and dirt are collecting in it.

More than 43,000 customers are experiencing low or no water pressure as a result of the winter storm that came through earlier in the week.

The first round of the winter weather came through Sunday and Monday and brought with it sub-freezing temperatures. Those temperatures, in turn lowered surface water temperatures at the Barnett Reservoir and brought production to a halt at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.

On top of that, the city had to scale back production at the J.H. Fewell Water Treatment Plant after chemicals there ran critically short. Companies were unable to deliver chemicals because of icy roadways. However, on Thursday, the city was able to secure a supply of alum to continue treatment.

With water production cut, the city’s water reserve tanks ran dry and pressure in the system fell off.

On Saturday, people across the city were still reporting low water pressure. At the Madonna Manor Apartments on Houston Ave., Nettie Funchess, said she had been without water for four days.

She said water was supposed to be delivered to the senior living complex, but she said none had been brought.

In all, the city distributed approximately 26,500 bottles of drinking water as of Friday night, as well as 7,000 gallons of non-potable water for flushing.

Meanwhile, Jackson crews have been working around the clock to restore water and as of Friday, both plants were again operational.

Public Works Director Charles Williams said Friday afternoon that water pressure had been increased to about 50 pounds-per-square-inch in the system.

However, for the service to be restored to all affected customers, PSI needs to be around 90 at Curtis and 80 at Fewell, he said.

It was unclear what progress had been made by Saturday morning and public works officials were not immediately available for comment.

Residents who are in urgent need of assistance are being asked to call one of the numbers below:

  • 601.960.1111
  • 601-960-1777
  • 601-960-1781
  • 601-960-1778
  • 601-960-0379
  • 601-960-1779

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