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Subfreezing Weather Crippled Water Systems Over Most Of The South

Richard White had a strong hunch about the trouble that it would spell for his community in Mississippi even after the ice had thawed as soon as he saw that temperatures would nosedive to subfreezing lows over the Christmas weekend.

He had a strong hunch that frozen pipes would burst, and water in the system would stop flowing. He had this strong hunch as soon as he saw that temperatures would nosedive to subfreezing lows over the Christmas weekend. That ended up being the case, no doubt about it.

Mr. White, the mayor of Byram, which is located just outside of Jackson, Mississippi, and the owner of an auto supply store where water was still reduced to a trickle on Wednesday, five days after the temperature plunged, said, “We’ve been through this many times, and it’s just miserable.” This was said by Mr. White. “We’ve been through this many times, and it’s just miserable.”

It was the same throughout most of the Southeast, where the extreme cold had long since passed (the maximum temperature in Byram on Wednesday approached 70 degrees), but the fallout from the recent winter storm persisted in the shape of damaged pipes, disrupted water systems, and general annoyance.

A recommendation to boil water has been in effect for several days in Byram, which is dependent on Jackson’s municipal water system, as well as for hundreds of thousands of residents in Memphis, where more than three dozen water main breaks have caused the city’s water supply to become contaminated.

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Officials in Charleston, South Carolina, issued a warning that the hurricane has brought the city’s water infrastructure perilously close to failing completely. The mayor of Selma, Alabama, issued a state of emergency after a string of significant leaks in the city’s water system.

Another hiccup was added to a holiday travel season that has turned into an obstacle course of flight cancellations and delays due to broken pipes at airports in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama. The automobile shop was owned by the Mayor of Byram, Mississippi, Richard White.

In reference to issues with the water supply brought on by the chilly weather, he commented, “We’ve been through this many times, and it’s absolutely horrible.” Credit… Originally published by Emily Kask for The New York Times.

The numerous fractures and leaks have brought to light the danger that severe weather poses to the community’s water supply systems. These vulnerabilities have been brought to light over the past several years by winter storms, floods, and hurricanes, and it is anticipated that they will continue to become more severe as a result of climate change.

The mammoth winter storm that swept over the country beginning last week caused temperatures to suddenly drop, unleashing ice and slicing winds and dumping more than four feet of snow in some spots. The water troubles are among many that were triggered by the storm.

In spite of the fact that a large portion of the South was spared a severe assault, the storm brought temperatures down to the single digits in many sections of the region, which is a level of cold that is unaccustomed and challenging to deal with.

Rex Jones, the proprietor of Cougar Oil in Selma, a city on the Alabama River with a population of approximately 17,000 people, stated that “We’re not used to weathering like this down here.” On the river, we prefer it when it’s warm out.

In the city of Selma, the local authorities have been called to homes and businesses where pipes have burst, leaving a mess to be cleaned up after the incident. According to the Chief Kenta Fulford of the Selma Police Department, “We’ve been working since Christmas because we had a lot of frozen lines, busted lines,” and “We’ve been working because we had a lot of frozen lines.”

Some of the doors of the stores at the Selma Mall had water leaking out of them. “The whole mall was just full of water,” said Shanna Bullard, owner of The Treasure Box Flea Market, which was one of the businesses that managed to avoid the brunt of it. “Thank goodness, it didn’t do that much damage to us.”

On Wednesday, officials in Memphis said that the majority of the city’s significant water leaks had been fixed, which led to the relaxing of restrictions that limited residents’ ability to use water. However, the advisory to boil all water remained in effect.

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