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Monday, May 16, 2011
Mississippi River Floods Take Toll On Poor -- How You Can Help (VIDEO)
On the banks of the river in Vicksburg, Miss., 12 people -- including infants and children -- live in one house.
As the Mississippi River continues to swell, floodwaters force them -- and other residents in the town -- to pack their things and head for higher ground, the Associated Press reports.
Although the waters are spreading across Arkansas and Tennessee, it may be Mississippi that has it hardest. Within the state, one in five live in poverty -- the highest level in the country, according to theCensus Bureau. Many don't have insurance or anywhere to go.
The children in Vicksburg play in the murky floodwater. Neighbors help remove vehicles from the flooding. David Henderson, a resident of the town, tells the Associated Press that he wonders when they'll receive assistance.
"At this moment, no help right now. It might be later coming on. But not right now. We ain't getting no help."
There are also small, poor communities that have no newspaper or TV station. MSNBC reports that officials in the small town Rena Lara, Miss. say they'll warn the 500 residents if they have to leave.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said the state is also asking local officials to track down people who don't have electricity and phones and would have no way to hear about flooding, according to MSNBC.
"It's a tiny number, but we have to find them," Barbour said.
On Wednesday, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for 14 counties in Mississippi. Housing and home repairs will be covered and low-interest loans to cover uninsured damage will be available, MSNBC reports.