So all things considered, it turned out much better than projected. Katrina is now a Category 3 storm. New Orleans will survive. The loss of life appears to be minimal. There are floods, corrupted water mains and reconstruction will be a bitch and a half (and then some). But New Orleans will survive in some form. And this is the important thing.
With this in mind, we return to the quotidian, our hearts extended to a beautiful city and its population. We never got a chance to visit but we will someday.