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Mississippi capital without reliable drinking water after plant failure

Jackson, Miss. is in the throes of a water crisis after pumps at the main water treatment plant failed Monday, multiple outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, reported Tuesday.

Lacking reliable drinking water and enough pressure to "fight fires, flush toilets, and meet other critical needs," the capital city is now working to distribute drinking and non-drinking water to up to 180,000 residents, CNN reports. 

Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba on Monday blamed the failure on flooding complications from the Pearl River, which rose to dangeous levels following heavy rains last week, NBC News writes. The city's water system has also had problems for years — for instance, adds CNN, residents were already under a boil water notice before the latest crisis even began.

"Please stay safe. Do not drink the water. In too many cases, it is raw water from the reservoir being pushed through the pipes," state Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said Monday. "Be smart, protect yourself, protect your family." Reeves declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, while Lumumba declared a water emergency on Monday.

Public schools switched to virtual learning on Tuesday.

It's unclear when residents can expect relief. Reeves said the city will have to provide water "for an unknown period of time"; Lumumba's office said the shortage is expected to last "the next couple of days."