The slow and emotional job of demolishing homes wrecked beyond repair by Hurricane Katrina began Monday, a key step in the cleanup process that could also lead to the discovery of more bodies.
Three homes were torn down -- the first of 118 planned -- in three of the worst-hit neighborhoods, where flood waters lifted buildings off their foundations and blocked streets.
Herbert Warren Jr. watched as an excavator scooped out the innards of the small wood-frame home he purchased in 1962 and in which he raised eight children. The structure had landed one street over from its foundation.
"The thing is, we thought we had it made, and then this," said the 77-year-old retired longshoreman who had evacuated with his wife to Houston.
Dogs trained to find bodies will search the sites before demolition begins and as houses are disassembled.