New Orleans Men Estimate They Rescued 400

There is little sign of life in New Orleans' flooded-out Lower Ninth Ward -- no more human voices or barking dogs, just silence.

"Hello," an ABC News crew called out Saturday in one of New Orleans' poorest neighborhoods. "Is anybody here?"

The only response came from Harry Pryer.

Every day since Hurricane Katrina, Pryer has paddled through his neighborhood in a rowboat, searching for his neighbors. Pryer believes "a few thousand" of them may have died "because the water came so fast."

But Pryer and a neighbor with a canoe, Michael Knight, estimate they saved more than 400 people by pulling them from their homes, ferrying them first to a small church in the neighborhood, and then moving them to dry land.

"We've been running," Knight said. "I feel like crying. A lot of people just died, bro."

Roof Holes Represent Families Saved

For about a week, the two men have been living on Knight's roof, along with some other friends and some dogs that they saved, living off water and military meals dropped by Coast Guard choppers.

The water was much higher after the hurricane, and the people were screaming for help.

"See where those holes are at -- where the roofs are?" Pryer said. "Some [people] were jammed in there."

Pryer and Knight had to hack their way through the roofs to free some people.

The evidence of their work is everywhere. Every hole in a roof represents another family saved.

ABC News' Bob Woodruff in New Orleans originally reported this story for "World News Tonight" Sept. 3, 2005.

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