At what point is a city no longer redeemable ?

In watching the New Orleans coverage over the last few days, I’m starting to wonder at what point can you feasibly rebuild a major metropolitan area after such extensive damage? Some have bounced back from the big storms. Galveston in the 1900 hurricane is a good example, but Galveston also required a massive public works and recovery effort following the storm, with the construction of the seawall and the raising of the entire island to prevent further catastrophe. We cant even fund reasonable health-care and public radio. Can we pull something like this off, in this day and age ? Also in the time it took to rebuild the city, Houston had surpassed it as the port of choice, so it was never quite the economic powerhouse it was before.

Addtionally, what a lot of people don’t realize is the island used to have a second suburb city of West-Galveston, that was lage enough to have its own theatre, race track, etc., Which was completly washed into the bay. Indianola is an example of another town on the Texas Coast that simply doesn’t exist anymore after getting wiped out by these storms. Maybe the real kicker here is getting people to return. Will people want to go through this again even if it is 40 years from now ?

I realize the kind of infrastructure investment that a place like New Orleans represents, but when is the psychological factor too much? What if people simply don’t want to come back after this?

Regardless, all our good vibes go out to the locals there.