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Rescuers Struggle to Save Hurricane Katrina Survivors

Authorities are struggling to reach survivors and restore order along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coastline in the wake of devastating Hurricane Katrina.

The high winds and torrential rains from Monday's storm have left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, and thousands more in need of food and clean drinking water.

Some 80 percent of New Orleans remains flooded Wednesday, as engineers try to fix two key levees damaged in the storm. Authorities have told rescue teams to focus on saving survivors trapped on rooftops, and to bypass dead bodies seen floating in the water.

In drier areas, police are trying to contain widespread looting. The city's mayor says it may be months before evacuated residents can return.

In the state of Mississippi, Governor Haley Barbour said today that Katrina wiped out 90 percent of the buildings near the coast in the cities of Gulfport and Biloxi. Authorities say the unofficial death toll in the area is 110 and warn it is almost certain to go higher.

President Bush is cutting short his Texas vacation and will return to Washington today to oversee relief efforts.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.