I was going to post this with some other pictures I took in New Orleans a few days ago, but considering Rita is on the way, I figured I'd just post this to explain what New Orleans is up against.
(Click for full size)
That is the state of repairs on the 17th street canal. If you look at the height of the repair it is about as tall as the track on the crane. If you look next to the crane you will see the guy in the blue shirt... The track is about up to his waist.
So, plus or minus a little bit, we can handle about 3 feet of storm surge. Rita is hitting to our west but she has 175mph winds and about a 30 foot storm surge. Do the math.