The UPS system says that my new camera is in Salt Lake. It showed up last night, but will spend the weekend in the UPS store. The camera was smart. It took a route north of the storm. It visited Doraville, Ga; Nashville, Tn; Louisville, Ky; Indianapolis; Hodgkins, Il and finally Salt Lake City.
Watching the evacuation of Galveston, Houston, etc., I can't help but wonder what would be entailed in making structures that could withstand category V storms. As our population expands and the price of fuel rises, evacuations will become more difficult.
The standard wood frame structures most of us live in couldn't handle the storm. I think it would be possible to make some extremely beautiful storm proof structures from steel and concrete.
Another interesting area to explore would be the process of zoning for geologic change. New Orleans is in a distributary. As such it goes through rapid geological changes.
Math history books claim that one of the driving forces in the development of geometry in ancient Egypt was the annual flooding of the rich Nile delta. Each flood year, people would have to resurvey and redetermine what areas they owned. The floods in New Orleans moved things. It will be interesting to see how the city handles the resurveying of the city.
There are many interesting opportunities here. Let's say a whole neighborhood was devastated. We have an opportunity to elevate that neighborhood...the houses in the hood may not end up in the same place.
Some people have suggested turning NO into a land of canals like Venice.
There's lots of opportunity of innovating design...unfortunately, I suspect that the rebuilding effort will be dominated by politics and lawsuits and that innovation will be stifled.