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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Search for Katrina bodies is over
French Quarter, New Orleans
A little bit of normality returns to the French Quarter
The door-to-door search for Hurricane Katrina victims has ended in the American state of Louisiana.

Officials said the final death toll was 972 - substantially smaller than the 10,000 victims some feared.

The death toll in Mississippi remained at 221, according to the authorities in the state.

Louisiana officials said more searches would be conducted by a private company hired by the state if someone reported seeing a body.

"There might still be bodies found. For instance, if a house was locked and nobody able to go into it", said a spokesman with the state's Department of Health and Hospitals.

Back to school

Meanwhile, New Orleans is coming back to life. School children went back to classes on Monday.

Thousands of people have return to the city in recent days, after the parts least affected by flooding from Katrina reopened.

Clean-up workers in a devastated neighbourhood of New Orleans
New Orleans was devastated by the impact of Hurricane Katrina
Some businesses have also reopened and power supplies are partially working - but only a few parts of the city have drinking water.

The mayor, Ray Nagin, has established a commission to draft a rebuilding plan for New Orleans and has asked for tax breaks to help revive it.

The governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, urged President George W Bush and Congress to allow federal funding to help pay the regular salaries of city and county employees during the emergency period.

"Our local governments are recovering, but many are on the verge of financial collapse", she told the press.

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