Jackson leaders address Forest Avenue water main break issues

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Jackson city leaders are regrouping after a failed attempt to repair a water main break on Forest Avenue.

When crews started repairs last Friday, they found the infrastructure was worse than expected, specifically two of the six valves for the water line would not shut off. This caused a water outage for thousands of south Jackson residents.

“I know that a lot of the citizens were inconvenienced what I can say is that if it had gotten to a catastrophic level and even to this point if it were to they would be without water indefinitely and that is something that we want to prevent. That’s what we’re trying to take care of with this repair,” said Interim Public Works Director Jerriot Smash.

Smash says this is one of three major repairs that will have to be fixed. He says they always planned to use a two phase method. This was phase one, which he calls a test.

“This was an opportunity for us to go through and see what type of deficiencies we might find first you know if we were to the point where we could have actually done it the plan was to go through with that but if not our fall back was into our second phase.”

“In order for us to make sure that we can have stable and consistent water production going to customers we’re not wasting that production by losing water major transmission lines need to be adequate, and they need to be operable.”

Smash says they plan to start repairs on the water line within the next 6 weeks.

“In order to make the repair, the mayor has signed off on an emergency in order for us to work on this.”

Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham is going to ask the board to issue a state of emergency and bring in help from FEMA.

“It’s just a very very bad situation which apparently they don’t have a handle on right now,” said Graham.

FEMA can only be brought in with an emergency declaration n signed by the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.
That is something that Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes says isn’t a bad idea.

“Any help you can get that’s what people want people just want the situation fixed so any help you can get whether it’s from the board of supervisors the state of Mississippi anywhere you can get some help.”

Everyone affected by the water main break is still under a boil water notice.

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