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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

All Headline News - Officials End Sweep for Bodies in New Orleans - October 4, 2005Officials End Sweep for Bodies in New Orleans

All Headline News - Officials End Sweep for Bodies in New Orleans - October 4, 2005Officials End Sweep for Bodies in New Orleans

October 4, 2005 11:01 a.m. EST

Christina Ficara - All Headline News Staff Reporter

New Orleans, LA (AHN) - Door-to-door recovery of the dead has ended in New Orleans, with officials finding fewer bodies than originally anticipated. The search for Hurricane Katrina victims ended in Louisiana with a death toll of 964, substantially less than the original estimates of 10,000.

The state has hired a private company to remain on call to remove any bodies found in the coming days.

The death toll is expected to continue to rise, but authorities, optimistic after the sweeps turned-up fewer bodies than first thought, say the toll will remain well below the 10,000 projection. Mayor Ray Nagin originally predicted New Orleans alone could have 10,000 dead.

Bob Johannessen, a spokesman with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, says, "There might still be bodies found — for instance, if a house was locked and nobody was able to go into it."

Mississippi's death toll remains at 221.

On Tuesday, just over a month after the Category 4 storm devastated parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, former President Bill Cliton travels to Louisiana to meet with hurricane survivors at a Baton Rouge shelter, get a briefing from officials on the relief effort, and tour New Orleans' largely destroyed Ninth Ward.

Clinton, partnered with former President George H.W. Bush, is heading the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, raising $100 million to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to pump water out of New Orleans' lower Ninth Ward and efforts to rebuild breached levees continue.

Two canals near the area were closed Monday as a precaution, due to strong winds and high tides. As of late Monday afternoon, a steady stream of water leaked through the repaired levees.

Electricity has been restored to about 36 percent of New Orleans customers and 99 percent of the customers in neighboring Jefferson Parish.

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