Thanks to leigh c. for giving me some leads on where to find info on the state of NOLA's pumps and levees. She recommended these two blogs : Fix The Pumps, and NOLA Dishu. Both have lots to read and think about. She also recommended these books:
"Holding Back the Sea" by Christopher Hallowell
"Bayou Farewell" by Mike Tidwell
I am going to find these and peruse them - likely I'll need a glass or two of whisky (Scotch of course!) to steady my nerves as I dig further into this issue. I will write a detailed blog post when I am more informed - I have the feeling I'll have lots to rant about.....