Officials worried about reluctant evacuees

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Emergency officials in Mississippi say one

of their biggest challenges may be convincing coastal residents who

struggled to flee Hurricane Gustav to do it again if Hurricane Ike

stays on track to the Gulf of Mexico.

Thousands of Mississippians left their homes along the Gulf

Coast last week after evacuations were ordered for Hurricane

Gustav, which didn't pack the punch most feared.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeff Rent says

the focus should be on people who evacuated and struggled to get

back home. He says the state is still in a wait-and-see mode for

Ike, which is forecast to cross Cuba and skirt Key West by Tuesday

as it heads to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)