JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi's (search) confirmed death toll from Hurricane Katrina rose to 126 Thursday as more rescue teams spread out into a sea of rubble to search for the living.
All along the 90-mile coast, other emergency workers performed the grisly task of retrieving bodies, some of them lying on streets and amid the ruins of obliterated homes that stretch back blocks from the beach.
Adding to the misery were tons of rotting shrimp and chickens, blown from their containers at a shipping dock and dumped into the water and onto the tattered landscape.
The entire state of Mississippi (search) is hurting. Even to its northern borders, growing numbers of local residents and stranded evacuees waited in long lines — sometimes for hours — to pay upward of $3 a gallon for gasoline. Many station owners stretched yellow tape across the pumps when supplies ran dry, then turned away lines of motorists stretching back blocks.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (search) reported 881,889 homes or businesses are still without electricity Thursday. Companies had restored power to about 85,000 customers since Katrina roared inland on Monday, but officials said it could be weeks or even longer before electricity is restored in some areas, including the area around the capital city of Jackson.
At a shelter in Bay St. Louis on Thursday, fuel was running low for the generator, there were no nurses, and paramedics had evacuated one woman who suffered from seizures and a boy shaking from dehydration. Medicine was running low.