Seems my Pompeii comment might have some merit:
According to a Washington, DC-based news network colleague who just spoke to a reporter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the death toll from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans alone may top 4000. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said “thousands” in his city may have died. Former Mayor Marc Morial said that New Orleans may have to be abandoned like Pompeii. According to the reporter in Baton Rouge, there are hundreds and hundreds of bodies that have been seen by TV news choppers floating in the streets of New Orleans and surrounding communities. Health officials also expect further casualties from disease from people drinking contaminated water. The situation in coastal Mississippi is also dire, with the death toll there also expected to rise precipitously. Another contact in Mobile reports that a number of people who attempted to evacuate New Orleans and other surrounding communities were forced to return home after they were caught in the leading edge of Katrina while stuck in long traffic jams and feared being caught in floods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its head Michael Brown, a Bush political appointee and a partisan Republican operative from Oklahoma, have been irresponsible in planning for Katrina. Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff also bears reponsibility for not ensuring adequate planning for a major disaster that had been predicted for years.