Delta receives $8.6 million for flood and infrastructure needs


Delta receives $8.6 million for flood and infrastructure needs

The Delta Regional Authority announced a $8.6 million investment on Thursday to fund flood control and infrastructure improvements across the Mississippi Delta.

“Accessible roads, reliable water and sewer services, and secure flood protection are essential in order to maintain existing businesses, attract new industries, and keep a community healthy and thriving,” said Corey Wiggins, the federal co-chairman of the DRA.

The DRA spends federal appropriations across eight states, including Mississippi, to help support transportation, infrastructure and other economic needs in the region.

The $8.6 million will go towards 13 projects. The announcement also mentioned another $1.8 million in matching funds.

The largest project investment is $3.2 million that will go towards economic development in Clarksdale, specifically to improve a levee and roadway. That project projects to create 56 jobs. A press release said this will attract an additional $12 million capital investment.

In total, about $2.9 million will go towards wastewater and sewer projects in Piney Woods, Charleston, Glendora, and Tunica County.

Earlier this year, the EPA listed Charleston as in “significant noncompliance” with the Clean Water Act due to reporting issues, which followed pollutant violations from the city’s wastewater system. The agency also notes recent pollution violations from the wastewater systems at the Piney Woods School as well as in Glendora.

Roughly $2.2 million will go to drinking water system improvements in Metcalfe, Greenville, and Charleston. In 2020, the EPA listed Metcalf, which serves water to about 1,000 people, as “enforcement priority” over drinking water violations, ranging from monitoring issues to contaminants in the water.

And then another $2.2 million is set to go towards drainage and storm water projects that will help Belzoni, Coldwater, Rolling Fork, Coahoma, and Tutwiler deal with . The largest of those projects is $516,896 going to Belzoni.

Rolling Fork is located in the South Delta, which regularly faces backwater flooding. The city hosted a meeting in August to discuss the Yazoo Pumps, a proposed flood control project.

Below are full descriptions of the Mississippi projects from the Delta Regional Authority’s press release:

  1. Piney Woods School Infrastructure Improvement Program | Piney Woods: The Piney Woods School will use DRA funds to improve the wastewater treatment facility and rebuild a loop road leading to the facility. This investment is projected to affect 30 families.
    • DRA Investment: $1,347,127
    • Total Investment: $1,497,127 
  2. City of Charleston Wastewater Improvements | Charleston: The City of Charleston will use DRA funds to improve the sewer collection system by cleaning CCTV gravity lines, installing a cured-in-place pipe, replacing the gravity sewer, and installing a duplex grinder pump station.
    • DRA Investment: $564,205
    • Total Investment: $564,205
  3. Tutwiler Flooding & Drainage Project | Tutwiler: The Town of Tutwiler will use DRA funds to rehabilitate the storm water draining system to eliminate storm water quickly and keep homes and businesses dry. This investment is projected to affect 872 families.
    • DRA Investment: $468,009
    • Total Investment: $468,009 
  4. Glendora Sewer Rehabilitation Project | Glendora: The Town of Glendora will use DRA funds to install significant sewer improvements, including rehabilitation to the sewer line and sewage lagoon and extension to the public. This investment is projected to affect 46 families.
    • DRA Investment: $536,663
    • Total Investment: $536,663 
  5. Coahoma Storm Water Drainage Rehabilitation | Coahoma: The Town of Coahoma will use DRA funds to rehabilitate the storm water drainage system to help eliminate standing water and the associated detrimental public health effects. This investment is projected to affect 95 families.
    • DRA Investment: $422,516
    • Total Investment: $422,516
  6. NTWA Water Well Project | Charleston: The North Tallahatchie Water Association will use DRA funds to install a new water well and eliminate sand and iron that are currently in the water. This investment is projected to affect 1,100 families.
    • DRA Investment: $587,172
    • Total Investment: $1,164,667
  7. TCUD Sewer Rehabilitation Project | Tunica County: The Tunica County Utility District will use DRA funds to rehabilitate its sewer system.
    • DRA Investment: $291,143
    • Total Investment: $291,143
  8. Rolling Fork Northgate Draining Improvements | Rolling Fork: The City of Rolling Fork will use DRA funds to continue ongoing drainage improvements for the Northgate and Eastgate residential areas in northern Rolling Fork.
    • DRA Investment: $345,376
    • Total Investment: $345,376
  9. Coahoma County Industrial Site Location Project | Clarksdale: Coahoma County will use DRA funds to construct site improvements to the levee and roadway for an economic development project. This investment is projected to create 56 jobs.
    • DRA Investment: $2,088,235
    • Total Investment: $3,208,235
    • Additional Capital Investment: $12,000,000
  10. Metcalfe Water System Improvements | Metcalfe: The Town of Metcalfe will use DRA funds to make water system improvements necessary to remain in compliance with the requirements. This investment is projected to affect 355 families.
    • DRA Investment: $407,920
    • Total Investment: $407,920
  11. Lamont Water System Improvements | Greenville: The Lamont Water Corporation will use DRA funds to make water system improvements that will address significant deficiencies noted by the Mississippi State Department of Health. This investment is projected to affect 36 families.
    • DRA Investment: $672,675
    • Total Investment: $672,675
  12. Coldwater Flooding Mitigation Project | Coldwater: The Town of Coldwater will use DRA funds to mitigate flooding by repairing and replacing portions of the existing drainage infrastructure.
    • DRA Investment: $400,342
    • Total Investment: $400,342
  13. Belzoni Drainage System Repairs and Improvements | Belzoni: The City of Belzoni will use DRA funds to replace two storm water pumping stations for flood and drainage system improvements.
    • DRA Investment: $516,896
    • Total Investment: $516,896

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Jackson water system is failing, city with no or little water indefinitely


Jackson water system is failing, city will be with no or little drinking water indefinitely

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.

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.

At a press conference Monday night, Gov. Tate Reeves said the city’s largest water treatment plants may be completely down.

“The O.B. Curtis plant is not operating anywhere near full capacity,” Reeves said. “We may find out tomorrow it’s not operating at all. We’ll have better visibility on that when we get in there tomorrow.”

Reeves announced he would sign an emergency declaration for the capital city’s water system and create an “incident command center” to distribute water to the city’s residents beginning Tuesday morning.

“Until it is fixed, it means we do not have reliable running water at scale,” Reeves said. “It means the city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets, and to meet other critical needs.”

BACKGROUND: ‘A profound betrayal of trust’: Why Jackson’s water system is broken

When Reeves announced the system was failing Monday at 7 p.m., Jackson leaders, including Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, had not addressed the public about the failure of the water system. Lumumba did declare a “water system emergency” Monday around 6 p.m., saying in a statement the “water shortage is likely to last the next couple of days.”

Lumumba was not invited by Reeves to attend the Monday evening press conference. While Reeves said he had not spoken directly with the mayor, he did say the city leader had agreed to work with state officials to address the problem. Employees with the will be working Tuesday with city operators to try to get the plant back on line.

“The operators (of the O.B. Curtis facility) have been heroic, just not enough of them,” Reeves said, adding the city employees will be crucial to get the plant running again.

State Health Officer Dr. Daniel Edney urged Jackson residents to “husband their water resources,” and to boil their water for three minutes before using it to drink, brush teeth, or cook.

Reeves revealed that he became aware of the possibility that O.B. Curtis could fail completely on Friday. State health officials told him that the city was relying on backup pumps because the main pumps had been “damaged severely” around the time the current boil water notice went into place on July 29.

“We were told on Friday that there was no way to predict exactly when, but that it was a near certainty that Jackson would begin to fail to produce running water sometime in the next several weeks or months if something didn’t materially improve,” Reeves said. “We began preparing for a scenario where Jackson would be without running water for an extended period.”

The governor said his team began coming up with a water distribution plan over the weekend.

“All of this was with the prayer that we would have more time before their system ran to failure,” Reeves said. “Unfortunately that failure appears to have begun today.”

READ MORE: Flooding exacerbates Jackson’s water crisis, raises calls for state intervention

On Tuesday, an incident command center will be set up and state employees will go into the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant to try to restore it to full operation. The plant has been operating at partial capacity for a number of days, Reeves said. For more than a month, the city has been under a state health department-issued boil water notice, but on Monday because of the problems with the plant much of Jackson lost water pressure.

Reeves said the first goal is to restore water quantity so that people can flush toilets and take a shower and then to restore quality to end the boil water notice.

As a short-term plan, Reeves said the state will cashflow emergency improvements, maintenance and repairs, which will include contracting operators to assist at the treatment plant. He said Mayor Lumumba agreed to a plan where the city would be responsible for half of the cost of the operation.

“We will come up with a solution that will be great for the city of Jackson,” said executive director Stephen McCraney. The governor, though, did not address long-term plans involving possible legislation to earmark state funds to provide a long-term fix for the troubled water system.

McCraney added that Emergency Management Agency had secured water for potential firefighting needs and that the state would be bringing in both water for drinking and for other sanitary needs.

He said it is not unlike what , in conjunction with the National Guard and other agencies, do after hurricanes. But as of Monday night, the governor had not activated the National Guard to assist the Jackson crisis.

“It is a massive undertaking,” McCraney said, adding “the state of Mississippi is good at distribution.”

Water will first be available at fire stations in town.

O.B. Curtis is supposed to provide about 50 million gallons for the city daily while Fewell, the other main treatment plant, provides 20 million. Fewell has been ramped up to provide 30 million.

Reeves said it is not clear how much of Jackson is completely without water.

The announcement comes after weekend Pearl River caused some businesses and schools to close Monday and prompted some leaders to call for the state to take action on the city water system.

Jackson , one of the largest school districts in the state, announced Monday night that it would switch to virtual learning “indefinitely” due to water shortages. Jackson State University announced Monday night it would hold classes virtually for the remainder of the week, adding that water will be delivered to all residential halls and temporary restrooms will be available to students and faculty beginning Tuesday morning.

READ MORE: Mississippi Today’s full coverage of the Jackson water crisis

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Flooding exacerbates Jackson’s water crisis, raises calls for state intervention


Flooding exacerbates Jackson’s water crisis, raises calls for state intervention

Pearl River is exacerbating Jackson’s drinking water crisis, bringing warnings of a system-wide outage, causing some businesses and schools to close Monday and prompting some leaders to call for the state to take action.

“Our understanding is the water and sewer system serving 250,000 citizens of the state and numerous businesses is at the brink of collapsing,” Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said. “We have grave concerns for citizens’ health and safety … I believe it is time for the state to take an active role in finding a solution — both short term and long term.”

House Speaker Philip Gunn said: “I’ve been contacted by hospitals, businesses and schools pleading that something be done to address the water crisis in Jackson. Unfortunately, the city leadership has not presented a permanent solution or a comprehensive plan. These groups have turned to the state for help, and it seems we will have to evaluate what options might be available.”

The city’s state Senate delegation on Monday called on Gov. Tate Reeves to call a special session of the Legislature to address the crisis.

“The people of Jackson, Byram, Ridgeland and are in day 32 of a boil-water notice,” the letter from the five senators said. “Water pressure issues are shutting down schools, businesses and government offices. Raw sewage discharge has closed the Pearl River. We need to act now. This issue is too important to wait until January and the 2023 legislative session.”

Some restaurants and other businesses in the Fondren area closed Monday as water pressure dropped to a trickle, and state agencies downtown were warned of a possible “system-wide water outage.” Several schools in the Jackson Public School District were forced to switch to virtual learning due to ongoing low water pressure and the threat of flooding.

Jackson’s antiquated, poorly maintained water and sewerage system has seen recurring failures — including loss of water for much of the city for a month after winter storms in 2021. Federal authorities have issued warnings the system is at risk of failure and of harmful contaminant levels. The city has been under a boil water notice for more than a month.

In a press conference on Monday to announce the Pearl River crested lower than expected and likely won’t bring widespread flooding of homes and businesses, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced the city had to reduce pressure for the entire city water system because of infiltration of floodwater. He said low-pressure issues could persist for a few days.

But in a message to state agencies downtown, the state Department of Finance and Administration warned the situation may be even more dire, and “there may be a system-wide water outage for the City of Jackson for the next several days.”

“We have spoken to the Governor’s office regarding the possible outage,” the message to state agencies said. “Please use your discretion for the health and safety of your agency.”

Lumumba’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comments on the discrepancy in messages.

The long-running city water crisis has prompted talk of a state intervention — perhaps even a takeover — of the system. But the estimated $1 billion price tag for a fix is daunting.

“I’m on the verge of saying that the state has got to step in and take over,” Gunn had said on Supertalk radio last week. “But the size of the problem is so great that I’m not even sure the state can meet the needs. It’s going to require federal help.”

Reeves’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comments Monday morning about possible state intervention.

On social media, state Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson — one of the five to call for a special legislative session — said it was time for the state to use a portion of its more than $2.5 billion in surplus funds to help fix the beleaguered water system.

Blount said, “It is important to remember that in the recent past the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to benefit regional utility authorities on the Gulf Coast and in DeSoto County. The state also sent money to Rankin County to build a new sewer plant. The state, with unprecedented money in the bank, must step up and invest in Jackson and save a system that serves almost one-10th of all Mississippians. We must aside political and partisan differences and act now.’

But Blount also pointed out that the system must be better run on a local level, pointing out the city is losing millions of dollars annually because many Jackson residents never receive bills for their water usage.

“If every treatment plant and pipe were fixed today, we’d be back in this situation soon without fixing the billing,” he said.

While officials took solace in the less-than-expected Pearl River flooding Monday, Lumumba announced that the city had to reduce water pressure for the entire system because of an adjusted treatment procedure.

“Because of the river water that’s coming into the plant, we have to change the way we treat the water,” Lumumba said during a press conference Monday. “Because of the chemical composition of the water coming in, they have to figure out how they can tend with that additional water coming in.

“That has led to the reduction of water being put out into the system which consequently reduces the tank levels and affects system-wide the water pressure in the homes of our residents.”

Later, the city issued a press release saying it was handing out bottled water to residents, at the Grove Park Community Center, while supplies last.

Lumumba’s comments on the latest Jackson water system woes came at the end of the press conference Monday after the Pearl River crested at just under 35 and a half feet that morning, under the original projection of 36 feet. The flood waters had only reached inside of one home, the mayor said.

The flooding came as a result of heavy rains last month, resulting in the wettest August on record for central Mississippi.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Flash Flooding in Jackson MS area


rssfeeds.clarionledger.com – Mississippi – 2022-08-24 17:30:36

Update 5 p.m.: Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba declared a local emergency late Wednesday afternoon concerning the risk of flash to the City of Jackson. 

“The severe weather may include risk of minor to moderate river flash flooding, threat of structural damage, and obstruction to roadways and bridges,” Lumumba said in a press statement making the announcement. “There is the possibility of additional excessive rainfall. 

“Local assistance might be necessary to support local government response and recovery efforts.”

The national weather service said rain will continue and…

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Hurricane Ida Heavy Winds & Flooding – Gulfport, MS [8-29-21]


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Heavy winds battered the City of in Mississippi as Hurricane Ida made landfall in southern Louisiana. Our cameras were …

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Mayor Of Gulfport, Mississippi: Flooding From Ida ‘The Severe Concern’


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Billy Hewes, mayor of , Mississippi, describes the coastal city’s priorities following Hurricane Ida. » Subscribe to MSNBC: …


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Flooding causing road closures in central Harrison County


www.wxxv25.com – Sabria Reid

Over the last two days, central has received over 12 inches of rainfall. Flood warnings are issued near the River and Wolf River due to heavy rain and streets have become water ways.

Rainfall has heavily affected low-lying areas. Water draining down into water ways and rivers is becoming a problem for…

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04-14-2021 Gulfport, MS HWY 90 Flooding – Sand On Highway Removal – Heavy Rains


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NOT FOR BROADCAST*** Contact Brett Adair with Live Storms Media to license. brett@livestormsmedia.com Heavy rain and …

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Pascagoula family watching Hurricane Sally flooding in low-lying neighborhood

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