After they drain and put things back in order, they really ought to build stronger and taller levees out of steel & concrete. Earthen ones don't cut it after too long. They can also pave the levee's bottoms and anchor them or even WELD them so they stay in place. Moreover, they should widen them one way, and that's toward Lake Ponchartrain, not the city. This is so development stays.
Sooner or later, carbon nanotubes, much stronger than most all materials, will replace them and save the day each and every time. Not only will sentient working androids maintain and upgrade levees 24 hours a day, but nanos will keep them pristine on a molecular scale. I'm a futurist if you think this is just technobabble. However, those from the Mind-X forum of http://www.kurzweilai.net will relate well to what I'm seeing.
Don't forget: They ought to drain Lake Ponchartrain north via pipelines. Destination? How about Arkansas?
I love Zatarain's jambalaya. I sure hope they're available in grocery markets nationwide despite Hurricane Katrina's disaster. They're based out of New Orleans. Oh my!
I've read a long while ago about prophets saying that natural disasters will become bigger and bigger until it culminates to a huge, huge apocalypse of heavily nightmarish proportions.
I also read & heard that on December 21, 2012, the final "baktun" of the Mayan calendar will end, and plenty speculate that the happenings of end-of-world proportions will occur.
One of those is a sea level rise. Look here: http://resumbrae.com/archive/warming/east.html
Nothing that exists today will pump out an ocean's worth of water. Even a 1-meter rise in sea level will completely drown New Orleans. In the weeks after this disaster, there will be a rebuilding of levees, a draining of the city, and a restoration. What you see on these maps will vastly overpower the efforts that the helpers are doing down there right now.
I hope the Technological Singularity arrives soon enough because it'll know how to reroute ocean water to where it's needed, after taking out the salt. The Sahara Desert will be no more; it'll be rehydrated and useful for agriculture for the first time in many thousands of years. It may also rip the molecular bonds of water so the Hydrogen becomes used for the new fuel-cell vehicles, the oxygen gets used for anything/anywhere that needs it, and the water used to make deserts a thing of the past.
The Singularity will also perfect Teleportation, so we can teleport gobs of water at a time to the Moon, then to Mars, and anywhere we decide to.
Therefore, we'll lower the sea levels as much as we want to. Perhaps 50 feet would be fine. We could also set the levels of different oceans, even if they connect. This is because many, many nano-bots will make upward-flowing water possible. They'll be like nanoscopic "conveyor belts" for the water. Hence, port cities that would otherwise lose their functionality will retain it, through the use of upward-flowing canals (without locks).
This may also give you more about the sea level rise (and fall, which I hope for.): http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=538964
Want to know about the concept of the upcoming Technological Singularity? Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_SingularityAlso take a look here (the graphs should look rather creative) : http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0134.html?printable=1