Winter Storm Knocks Out Drinking Water Systems in the South, Including in Jackson

Jackson, Mississippi made headlines and incurred a civil rights investigation earlier this year when flooding knocked out the city’s drinking water supply. This week’s winter storm had the same effect on Jackson as well as other Southern cities.

1 minute read

December 29, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A snow covered statue looks out over a blanket of snow at the White House, which is also covered in snow.

Phil Pasquini / Shutterstock

The winter storm blanketing the country has caused a citywide boil-water notice in Jackson, Mississippi, just a few months after flooding collapsed the state capital’s drinking water system.

In effect, the city of Jackson’s drinking water infrastructure has now failed at both ends of a spectrum of extreme weather—conditions likely to become more frequent and more extreme as climate change continues to take hold.

An article by Nick Judin for the Mississippi Free Press reports the news, noting the timing of the boil water notice—just a few days after Congress approved an omnibus spending bill that includes $600 million for Jackson’s water system.

“Jackson’s newly established interim third-party management team will soon enjoy a massive war chest to fund its revitalization of the water system, a project previously estimated to have a total cost of $1 billion,” reports Judin.

The latest emergency came with some warning. “Interim Third Party Manager Ted Henifin warned the Mississippi Free Press last week that the distribution system was still seriously at risk from a deep freeze,” adds Judin.

Jackson isn’t the only community in the South facing drinking water emergencies because of the winter storm. Memphis, Tennessee and Shreveport, Louisiana are under citywide boil-water notices at the time of this article’s writing.

Friday, December 23, 2022 in Mississippi Free Press

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Wood-frame two-story rowhouses under construction.

Fair Housing Cannot Take a Back Seat to ‘Build, Baby, Build’

If we overlook fair housing principles in the plan to build US housing back better, we risk ending up right back where we started.

April 11, 2024 - James Jennings

High view of woman walking in parking lot with red and white cars visible at left.

Non-Roadway Traffic Deaths On the Rise

A growing number of traffic deaths occur in driveways, parking lots, and other non-roadway spaces.

19 minutes ago - Streetsblog USA

Purple jacaranda trees in bloom in Los Angeles with tall white Art Deco buildings in background.

LA County Releases Draft Community Forest Management Plan

LA County's Chief Sustainability Office just released the discussion draft of Room to Grow, the first Community Forest Management Plan for the county.

April 21 - Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Aerial view of downtown Seattle, Washington at dusk.

Seattle Downtown Plan Expands Permitted Uses

The Downtown Activation Plan shifts from Euclidean to form-based zoning to encourage more commercial development.

April 21 - Governing

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.