Water is slowly returning to homes in Jackson, Mississippi, but a boil water order remains for the city’s more than 160,000 residents, officials announced.
The city is still struggling to restore water after the state was ravaged by winter storms three weeks ago. The storms crippled the city’s water treatment plants due to freezing temperatures and led water pressure to drop when the plants went unused for so long.
On Thursday, city officials offered a message of hope, announcing the city’s water pressure recovered overnight and water started flowing in the system again.
“Water is flowing in the system. Our tanks are being filled,” city officials said in a statement shared with ABC News. “Residents that lost pressure yesterday have seen water return.”
Jackson’s public works director Charles Williams said the state’s water system is at 85 psi, or pounds per square inch, compared to about 50 psi Wednesday. The goal is for the system to reach a consistent 90 psi, officials said.
Williams said in a city update Wednesday about a fourth of Jackson’s customers remained without running water. That is more than 10,000 connections, meaning water lines or pipes connected to a distribution supply main, with most serving multiple people, Associated Press reported.
However, there are still some pockets in the city continuing to struggle without running water.
“I pray it comes back on,” Jackson resident Nita Smith said to AP. “I’m not sure how much more of this we can take.”
Jackson officials said they’re working with “contractors and vendors to investigate solutions and triple check everything from hydrants to valves in order to get everyone fully restored and avoid any further setbacks.”
Officials said the next step in the water recovery effort is to fill tanks enough to sample the water to determine if it’s safe to remove boil water notices.
Mississippi declared a statement of emergency in wake of the storm. Gov. Tate Reeves deployed the National Guard and said Thursday that 526,098 water bottles and several tankers of non-potable water were delivered to Jackson residents in need.
The city hasn’t released a timetable of when all water will be restored and running.