I last visited N.O. in 1979 during a summer hurricane that fizzled. I was working on the archeology of Tenn-Tombigbee Canal in Tennessee Williams hometown of Columbus, Mississippi, which the Congress chose over an "energy island" for NYC, connecting the Ohio-Tenn. river system with Mobile, Alabama, said to be the site of the Nation's oldest Mardi Gras parade.
I wanted to say there have been many warnings prior to the Katrina event to the Army Corps of Engineers, which I worked for a number of times, which organizationally should also be reformed, Kansas City has jurisdiction over some projects in the Northeast, while nearby headquarters are in Fort Hamilton, NYC. In industrial archeology we see the pumps over 100 years old that the city has to rely on, in case of flood, the troops with M-16s and battle gear when food was finally handed out to children and recall that a lot of money was spent to have a canal through Mississippi that maybe should have been spent on maintaining the levees and spent on new pumps for New Orleans, which could have been announced before the Russians flew their three aid planes into the city.