Thousands of people fled their towns and cities before or in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Many do not know if they have any possessions to return to
Those who left their homes and businesses behind are now wondering where they will go next. Many emailed the BBC News website expressing their anger and frustration.
RYAN, KENNER, LOUISIANA, NOW IN FLORIDA
My wife and I, and some of her relatives, evacuated to Florida last Saturday, thankfully before the roads got too packed.
We've been extremely blessed - she has family in Florida who were able to shelter us in two separate houses.
Having a lot of family here has been extremely helpful since my wife is due with our first baby later this month.
Her father works at a hospital in Metairie (right next to Kenner) and had to stay there to work. He was able to check his home and ours.
My wife's parents' home had no damage and we only had one inch of water in our home, so I consider ourselves be very blessed that nothing worse happened to us.
I pray for all those who are still trying to get out of the city and for all those who lost loved ones back home.
JULIA, NEW ORLEANS, NOW IN GEORGIA
I am from the Lakefront area of New Orleans.
My parents live on Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell.
I would be surprised if their home is still standing, as their house was directly on the water.
We have evacuated to Valdosta, Georgia, and our money is gone.
What are we going to do now?
DAVID CARPENTER, NEW ORLEANS, NOW IN HOUSTON TEXAS
We boarded up our house as best we could and headed out of the city on Sunday morning.
We managed to travel about 200 miles west to a place called Opelousas. There were people everywhere looking for hotels that just didn't exist.
By complete chance we came across a family that put my wife, father-in-law, pet cat and I up for the night.
We then managed to book a hotel in Port Arthur, Texas.
After driving more than 100 miles to the hotel we discovered that they did not actually have any rooms.
We then continued driving to Houston and found the last room available, a $300 a night suite at the Hilton.
Nobody can call area code 504 numbers but SMS texting has been working and is wonderful at keeping in touch with family, friends and neighbours.
The looting is no surprise. The crime rate in New Orleans is terrible and some of the people who live there will shoot you without feeling anything.
We have not had any concrete information regarding our house but it is located opposite the French Quarter in a area called Algiers Point.
Algiers is one of the highest parts of the city so we believe it is dry right now. We have also read that neighbours are patrolling the streets at night with guns trying to keep the looters away.
I am not sure what we are going to do, as we can't return at the moment.
We still have to pay our mortgage and yet can't afford to pay $300 per night. The most important thing is that we are safe and sound.
ERIC RAMOS, NEW ORLEANS, NOW IN CALIFORNIA
I evacuated to California and I don't expect to return for at least two months.
I don't know if my apartment is still standing.
It is very frustrating and I don't know what I am going to do.
My university is not very helpful in getting information to its students.
I hope that the government starts to send in the military because the situation is rapidly deteriorating.