White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the Jackson water crisis and the federal government stands ready to assist.
The drinking water system in Jackson — Mississippi’s largest city and home to more than 160,000 residents — is failing, state officials announced on Monday. Thousands of Jackson residents already have no or little water pressure, and officials cannot say when adequate, reliable service will be restored.
“At (Biden’s) direction, we have been in regular contact with state and local officials, including Mayor Lumumba, and made clear that the Federal Government stands ready to offer assistance,” Jean-Pierre tweeted on Tuesday.
She continued: “FEMA is working closely with the state officials to identify needs, and the EPA is coordinating with industry partners to expedite delivery of critical treatment equipment for emergency repairs at the City of Jackson water treatment facilities.”
The city water system has been plagued with problems for years, including tens of thousands of residents losing water between one and three weeks during a 2021 winter storm.
Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to assist on Tuesday, and the Mississippi State Department of Health declared a public drinking water supply emergency.
“We will continue to partner closely with state and local officials to support the people of Mississippi, and stand ready to assist further as soon as we receive an official request from the state,” Jean-Pierre said.