Rural communities hit hard by Katrina wait in shadows; despair abundant
In an example of the often cited government maxim, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease," rural communities hurt by Hurricane Katrina are taking a back seat to more populous areas, where the demands are loudest and most nationally visible.
In a story datelined Pass Christian, Miss. -- ground zero for the infamous 1969 Hurricane Camille -- San Antonio Express-News staff writer Jeorge Zarazua details all too familiar images of desolate and destroyed lives left by a storm that has established herself as more destructive than Camille: "A shirtless Dane Rabalais unloaded bags of ice ... from a neighbor's truck that had pulled into his front yard. Lizzy Lynn, whose home was destroyed by Katrina, washes her clothes on the beach."
While President Bush toured the destruction that Katrina wrought in Biloxi, about 20 miles east, many residents in this rural coastal community of fewer than 7,000 leaned on each other. Loretta Lizana's family opened their home to neighbors who lost everything. Thomas Drake, 58, left boxes of water at the local fire station before he evacuated eastward to Pensacola, Fla., reports Zarazua.
Even though Army National Guard supply trucks arrived Friday, many didn't carry water or food. Rural communities in southern Mississippi have been hard hit, and unlike in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pensacola, there seems to be little progress in restoring electricity. Desperation, however, is in abundance.
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