Cold weather causes plumbing problems at Mississippi State Capitol

Cold weather is causing water woes across the South, as water mains break and people run faucets to keep pipes from freezing.

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 8:02 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Cold weather is causing water woes across the South, as water mains break and people run faucets to keep pipes from freezing.

Everyone on the water system in Jackson, Mississippi's largest city, could be under a boil-water order for days because of low pressure from broken mains. Some restaurants, medical clinics and other businesses have closed, and portable toilets have been set up outside the state Capitol, where legislators are meeting and some toilets won't flush.

In New Orleans and other places where temperatures have risen again, authorities want people to stop running faucets to prevent frozen pipes, saying that's reducing water pressure.

A water main break left parts of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, without water Thursday. In suburban Atlanta, East Point and College Park lifted a boil-water order after fixing a water main that broke Tuesday.

It's not the first time that cold weather has caused water problems in Jackson. Cold snaps in 2010 and 2011 caused widespread water main breaks, leaving broad swaths of the city without water.

Barbecue restaurant Pig and Pint was open in the city's Fondren business district Thursday, but serving food on plastic plates and offering only bottled drinks.

Managing Partner Chris Clark said the restaurant couldn't operate Wednesday because water pressure dropped before opening time, causing the restaurant to lose daily revenue of $7,000 to $8,000. By Thursday, owners had brought in portable toilets.

"Unfortunately, we're prepared for this in Jackson," Clark said.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center closed or relocated some clinics because low water pressure prevented steam heating.

Near the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a burst water main left streets coated with ice. At least two hotels and some university buildings were without water.

"They told me something about a water main break and I thought they were just making up an excuse for not having water. But when I looked outside and turned on the news, there really was a problem," Brian Cheshire, who was staying at the DoubleTree Hotel, told WBMA-TV .

Millsaps College in Jackson delayed the start of on-campus classes until Jan. 16, citing a lack of water, although it said professors would send online work earlier. Pipes froze in two dorms at Jackson State University and outside two dorms at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

Jackson officials reported 37 broken water mains Wednesday, but Public Works Director Robert Miller said the number was down to 22 on Thursday. He predicted that if only a "reasonable" number of new leaks were uncovered, problems could be fixed by Saturday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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