VICKSBURG, Miss - UPDATE: 05/22/2017 10:30 A.M.
Officials in Vicksburg say it may be the end of the week before the city’s tap water will be declared safe to drink.
The city water system had been shut down since 11 a.m. Wednesday when city workers discovered a leak in the main waterline. The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/2r6Ij7S ) the leak forced employees at the city water treatment plant to shut down the plant’s main valve to prevent backflow into the system
Repairs have been made and workers were taking steps to restore water pressure during the weekend. But chlorine will have to be added to the system to purify the water. And, it the water will have to be tested by the Mississippi Department of health.
UPDATE: 05/18/2017 5:00pm
"Water levels and flooding along the Mississippi River plus a water main break just north of the city are just 2 factors that have now contributed to a water crisis in the city of Vicksburg. It's left residents all over Warren County totally without water."
No one in the city of Vicksburg has running water-- they've been dealing without it now for over 24 hours.
The break happened Wednesday, and city engineers are having a tough time reaching the area since the Mississippi River has caused flooding near the main throughout the week.
"Safety is a priority, timing is a priority, and water certainly is a priority. But we're doing all we can do under the circumstances.", explains Mayor George Flaggs, during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Businesses are being forced to close and residents are having to find ways to get water to perform essential daily tasks.
Stylists at Southern Barber & Style on Highway 61 are thinking outside the box-- saying they simply couldn't afford to close their doors.
"Really we're just getting 5 gallon jugs and since the customers are so nice, we're just pouring it on top of their head and praying that they still love us after they get a cold shower.", says McMillan Crevitt, one of the stylists.
They are bringing water in by the containers, telling us it took over 7 gallons of water to rinse the dye from someone's hair.
"It's more of a hassle, but we don't mind it."
Meanwhile, others in the city are lining up to get whatever water is left-- bottles in cases or gallons jugs.
"It's hectic because uh, you know, you can't cook, you know, trying to take a bath, shower, flushing the toilet, and stuff like that.", says Patricia Turner, who was grabbing water from Kroger in Vicksburg.
Another resident, Ronald Turner, says "You might not realize it until something is taken away, but water is very very important."
With the river expected to crest early Monday morning, crews are working around the clock to fix the break as quickly as possible-- it's a process that could take up to 5 full days.
"We just ask people to be patient with us, work with us, and let's get through it.", says Mayor Flaggs.
For now, city officials are preparing for every scenario-- and say they're hopeful construction of the dam will be completed sometime Friday.
Multiple cities across Mississippi are stepping up to the plate to donate water to the city, including Jackson (Hinds County), Port Gibson, Natchez, and Canton.
If you're interested in donating water or need to find out where more water is being distributed, you can check out the updates on the City of Vicksburg Facebook page by clicking here.
Another update is expected tomorrow afternoon from city officials. KTVE/KARD will bring you the latest details on the timeline for water restoration as they become available.
Here's more from residents in Vicksburg:
UPDATE: 05/17/2017 2:05pm Residents of Vicksburg are being told to secure water for almost a week after a water main break that Mayor George Flaggs describes as the “worst case scenario” since he has been mayor.
City officials say a 36-inch water main broke. That main is the primary conduit for the water plant. It sits ten feet below ground in an area near Haining Road, which is affected by river flooding. Because of the flooding crews will have to build a dam around the break and pump out the water just to get to the water main. Eighteen truckloads of dirt are being brought in to build the dam. That process is expected to take between 24 and 48 hours. Once the dam is built repairs could take up to five days.
The Vicksburg Police Department and Vicksburg Fire Department are working to make certain that residents who are vulnerable have adequate supplies of water. Residents are being told to get water if they can.
City officials say a news conference has been scheduled for 4:00pm today.
UPDATE: 05/17/2017 11:59am Because of the water outage in the city some schools in the Vicksburg Warren School District are closing early today.
The following schools will close at 12:15pm:
- Tiger Academy
The follow schools will discuss at 1:00pm:
- Fresh Start and STAR Academies
- Vicksburg Junior High School
- Warren Junior High School
All other schools will dismiss at the regular time.
VICKSBURG, Mississippi (WJTV) – The City of Vicksburg, Mississippi says a break in the water line coming from the city’s main water plant is affecting all city water customers.
According to a posting on the city’s Facebook page, crews are working to repair it now.
WJTV is working with authorities to learn more. This post will be updates as soon as more information is available.