Severe Storm Batters Jackson, Mississippi, Prompting State of Emergency

A severe storm hit Jackson, Mississippi, causing widespread damage, power outages, and disruptions to the city's water system. Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba declared a State of Emergency, with over 10,000 customers without power and a system-wide boil water notice in effect.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Severe Storm Batters Jackson, Mississippi, Prompting State of Emergency

Severe Storm Batters Jackson, Mississippi, Prompting State of Emergency

On May 10, 2024, a severe storm pummeled Jackson, Mississippi, causing widespread damage, power outages, and disruptions to the city's water system. In response to the crisis, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba declared a State of Emergency, emphasizing the severity of the situation and the need for immediate action.

Why this matters: The severe storm's impact on Jackson's infrastructure and daily life highlights the importance of disaster preparedness and response in urban areas. Thedeclaration of a State of Emergency also underscores the need for coordinated efforts between local authorities, utility companies, and residents to mitigate the effects of natural disasters.

The storm, which brought heavy rains, hail, lightning strikes, and strong winds of up to 100 mph, wreaked havoc across Entergy Mississippi's service territory. The areas most severely impacted include Rankin County and surrounding regions, Jackson, Clinton, Brookhaven, and Madison. As of 7:30 p.m. on May 10, approximately 10,200 customers were without power, although crews have managed to restore electricity to more than 36,000 customers.

The severe weather also caused significant disruptions toJackson's water system, with the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant losing power shortly before midnight on May 9. As a result, JXN Water, the utility company responsible for the city's water supply, issued asystem-wide precautionary boil water noticeand advised customers to conserve water until further notice. Ted Henifin, JXN Water Interim Third-Party Manager, stated,"It will take many hours for the system to recover and some places may take longer."

The impact of the storm on daily life in Jackson has been substantial, with widespread power outages and low water pressure affecting residents across the city. As a precautionary measure, all Jackson Public Schools (JPS) were closed on Friday, May 10, to ensure the safety of students and staff. Students who had already boarded buses on Friday morning were supervised at school until a parent or guardian could pick them up.

Entergy Mississippi has deployed a workforce of more than 1,000 damage assessors, vegetation crews, line workers, and support personnel to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Damage assessment is 77% complete, revealing damages to 88 poles, 32 transformers, 64 crossarms, and more than 11 miles of downed wire. Restoration times vary, with customers in Brookhaven, Clinton, Madison, and Vicksburg expected to have their power restored by Friday evening, while most customers in Jackson, Simpson, and Rankin counties should have their electricity back by Saturday. However, some customers may have to wait until Sunday due to the extent of the damage.

Mayor Lumumba's declaration of a State of Emergency underscores the gravity of the situation in Jackson. The state of emergency will be reviewed every seven days until the local emergency is no longer in effect. As the city works to recover from the devastating storm, residents are advised to stay safe, conserve water, and report any downed power lines or damaged electrical equipment to Entergy Mississippi.