Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says a number of fishing villages in the state's Cameron Parish have been "erased from the map" by Hurricane Rita.
Search and rescue operations are set to wrap up today in the state's rural Vermilion Parish, also hard-hit by tidal surges from the storm that made landfall on Saturday. Many streets and homes are more than one meter under water.
Governor Blanco has asked the federal government for $34 billion in recovery aid for her state, which has been hit by two major hurricanes in four weeks.
In New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin is calling on residents of one neighborhood, Algiers, to return home and help rebuild the city.
In Texas, thousands of residents are planning to return to Houston Monday. The nation's fourth largest city escaped the worst of the storm.
Some information in this story provided by AP.