NEW ORLEANS (AP) A– The search for Hurricane Katrina victims has ended in Louisiana with a death toll at 964, but more searches will be conducted if someone reports seeing a body, a state official said yesterday.

Sarah Royce
Students at Arch Bishop Chapelle Catholic High School walk to class on their first day of school in Metairie, La. yesterday. (AP PHOTO)

State and federal agencies have finished their sweeps through the city, but Kenyon International Emergency Services, the private company hired by the state to remove the bodies, is on call if any other body is found, said Bob Johannessen, a spokesman with the state Department of Health and Hospitals.

“There might still be bodies found – for instance, if a house was locked and nobody was able to go into it,” Johannessen said.

Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had completed its role in the search because its specialties were no longer needed, including getting to bodies in attics or other hard-to-reach places or in buildings that may be structurally unsound.

FEMA did nearly 23,000 thorough room-to-room searches in New Orleans with about a dozen teams of emergency workers.

Mississippi’s death toll remained at 221.

There were signs of normalcy in the city Monday _ five weeks to the day since Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.

St. Andrew the Apostle elementary school was the first Catholic school reopened in New Orleans. A week ago, residents were allowed to return to the school’s Algiers neighborhood of 57,000 people across the Mississippi River that largely escaped flooding.

“My heart is just bursting,” said teacher Jewell McCartney, fighting back tears as she welcomed back her class of sixth-graders. “I just want to give them all a hug.”

Archdiocese officials said their schools also were reopening in areas outside the city.

Some public schools in nearby parishes also opened yesterday, but public schools in New Orleans remain closed.

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