Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders said Tuesday in an Instagram video that his program and players are now “in crisis mode” when it comes to dealing with the multiple water issues that have plagued the capital. of Mississippi last week.
Parts of Jackson were without running water Tuesday because flooding exacerbated longstanding problems at one of two water treatment plants. The city of 150,000 had already been under a boil water advisory for a month because the Health Department found cloudy water that could cause digestive problems. Now, residents are also facing too much water on the ground after last week’s heavy rains, and not enough safe water coming through pipes for people to use.
“We have been hit by a small crisis in the city of Jackson,” Sanders said in the video. “We don’t have water; water means we don’t have air conditioning. We can’t use toilets. We don’t have water, so we don’t have ice, which is a burden on the program. So right now we’re operating in crisis mode.” .
Jackson State University brought in temporary restrooms for students, and Sanders said the water crisis has left his players without drinking water and unable to flush toilets or shower at his practice facility. In the Instagram video, Sanders, also known as Coach Prime, said that he wanted to move the players to a hotel so they could shower.
“I have to get these kids off campus… to a hotel and get them settled so they can shower properly and have their needs taken care of, make sure all of our kids are fed and all of our kids have the necessities of life for the next several days until this crisis subsides,” Sanders said. “That’s where we’re operating right now.”
Jackson State’s next game is against Florida A&M on Sunday in Miami.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said late Monday that he will declare a state of emergency for Jackson’s water system, issuing the proclamation Tuesday. The state will try to help solve the problems by hiring contractors to work on the treatment plant, which was operating at a reduced capacity with backup pumps after main pumps failed “some time ago,” Reeves said.
Sanders expressed confidence that his players and program will show resilience and perseverance despite these challenges.
“We’re going to find a place to practice, find a place that can accommodate every damn thing we need and want to be who we want to be, and that’s mastering,” Sanders said. “The devil is a lie. He’s not going to catch us today, baby.”
Jackson has longstanding problems with his water system. A cold snap in 2021 left a significant number of people without running water after pipes froze. Similar problems occurred again earlier this year, on a smaller scale.
Associated Press contributed to this report.