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Thousands still reeling a week after Isaac

NEW ORLEANS -- Tens of thousands of customers remained in the dark Monday in Louisiana and Mississippi, nearly a week after Isaac inundated the Gulf Coast with a deluge that still has some low-lying areas under water.

Most of those were in Louisiana, where utilities reported more than 100,000 people without power. Thousands also were without power in Mississippi and Arkansas.

In Louisiana, many evacuees remained in shelters or bunked with friends or relatives.

Meanwhile, inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are out trying to get a handle on losses. Residents can apply for grants to get help with home repairs and temporary housing, among other expenses.

At least seven people were killed in the storm, five in Louisiana and two in Mississippi.

In St. John the Baptist Parish, where President Barack Obama visited Monday, residents spent Labor Day dragging waterlogged carpets and furniture to the curb and using bleach and water to clean them in the hope of preventing mold.

LaPlace resident Barbara Melton swept mud and debris from her home, which at one point was under 2 feet of water. The garbage, debris and standing water -- combined with heat reaching the 90s -- created a terrible stench.

"It's hot, it stinks, but I'm trying to get all this mud and stuff out of my house," she said.

A few houses away, Ed Powell said Isaac was enough to make him question whether to stay.

"I know Louisiana's a gambling state, but we don't want to gamble in this method because when you lose this way, you lose a lot."

More than 2,800 people were still at shelters in Louisiana, down from around 4,000. State officials were uncertain how many people would eventually need longer-term temporary housing.

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