New Orleans resident Alex Perez carries his cats to dry land after being rescued by boat from his house near Lake Pontchartrain. Hurricane Katrina broke levees on either side of the city, allowing surrounding water bodies to flood New Orleans, on August 30, 2005.
Devastation is widespread throughout the city, with water 12 feet (3.7 meters) high in some areas. Hundreds of people are feared dead, and the storm left thousands homeless in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Looting has been reported in New Orleans, which is mostly deserted.