PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth-based disaster relief organization Mercy Chefs is sending 18 pallets of bottled water and a mobile water purification unit to help Jackson, Mississippi residents during the city’s water crisis.

“Jackson residents are dealing with an emergency – they’re describing this as living in a nightmare with no clean water to cook or brush their teeth,” said Gary LeBlanc, founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs. “We feel incredibly blessed that we’re able to provide resources and will do whatever we can to provide residents with support.” 

The water purification unit can produce 300 gallons of clean water per hour, Mercy Chefs says.

The supplies are being distributed from Mercy Chef’s warehouse in Tanner, Alabama, through church partners.

Jackson’s water system failed earlier this week following recent flooding, leaving thousands in the majority-Black city without running water. Vox reports how this was a crisis decades in the making due to a lack of tax revenue and state funding to pay for essential upgrades, caused in part by ongoing racism and the white flight in the 1970s/80s that eroded Jackson’s tax base.

Running water had been restored to some homes and businesses Thursday, but many were still under a boil water advisory and low water pressure keep many from being able to take showers or flush toilets, the AP reports.