Some Feel Help Is Scarce

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Two weeks after Katrina, living without electricity and other basic services is a daily challenge for residents in rural communities stretching from Jackson, Mississippi southward to the ravaged Gulf Coast.

This is especially true of the tiny little towns of southeast Mississippi, including Smith County, some 50 miles from the capital city. Ten miles from the nearest town, the farmers in this region aren't a priority for the emergency management crews or rescue workers who descended upon the Gulf Coast.

Nobody brings food. There are no shelters. Even if someone wanted to go to a refugee camp, the logistics would be ridiculous.

Roger Hayes, of Four Points, Ala., just over the Mississippi border, says most people in rural areas aren't counting on the government. They are independent and their needs are simple.

But eventually, they might need some help removing the trees from their roofs.