I lived there for a long time, and even though I hated much of New Orleans, I also loved much of it.
Who knows at this point how many will die? Who knows how many are in an attic, with no escape and the water rising? The Superdome is becoming a mini disaster in the middle of a larger disaster. The property loss alone is staggering.
Maybe the best solution in the end will be to raze most of New Orleans except for the downtown. Allow limited residential building, but disperse most of the population. This same thing will happen again, maybe again this year, maybe next -- but it will happen.
Things will get worse tomorrow, and the day after, and at some point, hard decisions will have to be made. If this disaster is any example of the decision-making (and it is) of the people in NO, the rest of us will have to lead them into what is the unthinkable.