The water crisis in Jackson follows years of failure to fix an aging system

The city of Jackson was already struggling with a deteriorating water system long before the latest rains cut off access to safe drinking water for more than 150,000 people in Mississippi's capital.

For years, residents of the majority-Black city have endured everything from service disruptions

recurring boil-water advisories to concerns over contaminants like lead and E. coli bacteria

thanks to failures to upgrade Jackson's aging infrastructure.

With the city now under a state of emergency

officials are scrambling to distribute bottled water to tens of thousands of people in a city where roughly 1 in 4 people live in poverty.

Amid the fledgling response, officials have sent mixed signals about how long it may take to restore service.