A video apparently showing a tanker outside the Mississippi governor’s mansion in Jackson has emerged online following Governor Tate Reeves’ decision to issue an emergency declaration due to a water crisis in the city.
The six-second video shared on Twitter on Tuesday purports to show a water tanker outside the governor’s mansion and has led to a significant discussion on the social media platform.
Governor Reeves’ office told Newsweek on Wednesday that the tanker had nothing to do with the governor’s mansion.
“Many businesses have also brought in their own tankers. It is not supporting the Governor’s Mansion or any other state assets. City distribution sites have been publicized,” the governor’s office said.
The governor’s office also shared a link to the City of Jackson’s Facebook page that lists the distribution sites.
Twitter user @comebacksquid shared the footage in response to a tweet about the water crisis from Brittany Brown, a labor reporter with MLK50 Memphis, who had warned about the heat in Jackson amid the water shortage.
“Guess what this big atank outside the Governor’s mansion is?” the Twitter user wrote.
The video shows a tanker in the street and then pans to the left to show part of what appears to be the grounds of the Mississippi governor’s mansion. However, it was not clear that the tanker was providing water to the mansion or even that it was carrying water.
The vehicle’s mud flaps are branded “SEMO,” which could be Semo Water, the South East Missouri Regional Water District. Newsweek reached out to Semo Water for comment.
As of early Wednesday morning, the video had been viewed more than 160,000 times.
Rising flood waters over the weekend have impacted Jackson’s main water treatment facility and caused it to approach a state of near collapse, creating water shortages for the 180,000 people who live in Mississippi’s capital.
Some Twitter users expressed anger at the video and suggested it reflected badly on Reeves, a Republican who declared the water emergency on Tuesday. A number of users had tagged the governor’s official Twitter account, criticizing him and asking for an explanation of the footage.
However, other Twitter users were skeptical of the footage. Some questioned whether the tanker actually held water, while others suggested it could contain milk or even fuel.
“Current pressure issues mean that the city is unable to produce enough water to flush toilets, fight fires, and meet other critical needs,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
“The state is marshaling tremendous resources to protect the people of our capital city,” Reeves said. “It will take time for that to come to fruition. But we are here in times of crisis, for anyone in the state who needs it. That’s my responsibility as governor, and it is what everyone in my administration is committed to ensuring.”
Reeves had said during a briefing on Monday that Jackson will be without “reliable running water at scale” indefinitely.
Update 08/31/22, 8: 23 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a statement from Governor Tate Reeves’ office.