The Corner

“The Misery Is Spreading”

An e-mail:

I’m e-mailing you from a Mississippi newspaper, where I’m a reporter,

that’s about five and a half hours from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You

would think we’re far removed from the destruction, but we’re not.

Our classified ad rep has a 70-year-old great aunt in Biloxi, and the

aunt is stranded and waiting for help. She said they walked outside their

home to find help but turned around when they saw dead bodies.

One of our reporters interviewed evacuees at the Red Cross shelter,

asking what they need, and they all answered “temporary work.”

A woman from Louisiana said her family feels like “gypsies” because they

can only wander from place to place, not knowing what to do. “We don’t have

anything,” she said.

Our town’s population is about 8,000 people, and evacuees from the coast

number between 800 to 900 right now. That number will climb to 1,000 by the

end of the week when the Red Cross shelter here reaches its maximum capacity

of 200. A volunteer said the hotels are kicking out people because they’re

running out of money, and those people don’t have anywhere else to go.

And now there are rumors of gas shortages.

Our hearts are broken here, and we’re hundreds of miles from the hellhole

on the coast.

It’s getting worse here, not better, and the misery is spreading.

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