The official death toll in Louisiana now stands at 832 people, an increase of 153 since the weekend, with warnings that search operations could last another four to six weeks.
“There still could be quite a few, especially in the deepest flooded areas,” US Coast Guard Captain Jeffrey Pettitt, in charge of retrieving the dead, told the Associated Press.
Dr Louis Cataldie, medical incident commander for the state, said most of the bodies retrieved are elderly people, more and more children’s corpses are turning up…
The search is concentrated in eastern New Orleans, with ground crews combing recently-drained areas closest to the breached levees that bore the brunt of the floodwaters.
Bodies are still being found in the streets as well as inside homes.
Rescuers on Tuesday found a badly decomposed corpse draped over a fence, according to AP.
Water is still being pumped from the city and repairs are being made to the levee system, with fears of a fresh hurricane approaching.
While much of New Orleans is no longer submerged, many dredged areas look like river beds covered in boulders, mud, branches and debris.
Mayor Ray Nagin on Wednesday said the city of around half a million may only be able to cope with just over half its full population in the recovery period.
“We are probably looking at repopulating the city right now at about the 250,000 level. That’s probably all we can handle within the next year,” he Nagin said.
At least 218 deaths have also been recorded in Mississippi, two in Alabama and 14 in Florida, according to officials in those states.
Katrina is the deadliest storm to hit the United States since 1928, when 1,836 people were killed in an unnamed storm that hit Florida.
Officials have backed away from early estimates that as many as 10,000 people may have perished in New Orleans alone.