GRAPHIC PIX Recovery of bodies after hurricane Katrina
(16 Sep 2005) US President George W. Bush on Thursday proposed a sweeping plan for the federal government to pick up most of the costs of rebuilding New Orleans and the rest of the hurricane-ravaged US Gulf Coast, in one of the largest reconstruction projects the world has ever seen.
It has been 19 days since Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf coast region and still waters flood the lower parts of Orleans parish, near the University of New Orleans.
As an APTN crew used a boat to travel around the parish, search and recovery crews were seen going building to building.
US Army Search and Rescue's Lieutenant Bill Pursinger described scenes witnessed by his teams as they worked around the neighbourhood.
He said that although the locations of many of the bodies had been recorded and sent to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the group responsible for picking them up had not yet done so.
Across five Gulf Coast states, the death toll from Katrina stood at 710, led by 474 in Louisiana.
Meanwhile, electricity has been restored to large sections of the New Orleans' Central Business District and there are signs that that part of the city is starting to come alive.
The city's Mayor C. Ray Nagin announced plans on Thursday to reopen some of New Orleans' most vibrant and least flood-ravaged neighbourhoods over the next week and a half, including the French Quarter.
The move could bring back more than 180,000 of the city's original half-million residents.
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