When a patient's heart becomes asystolic on an operating table, the attending doctor must announce the time of death to officially declare the patient's demise.
Who announces the death of a city?
I don't know if we can announce that New Orleans, as we once knew it, is officially dead...but I can tell you that we all know it. Some of us may not want to admit it, some of us may be delusional, some of us may be in a pharma-fog....but I think that sub-consciously New Orleanian's know this city is in a very dark place and there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Nor is there a messiah who would resurrect us.
I'm not omniscient and I don't want to pretend I know what the fate of New Orleans actually is, but if I were the metaphorical M.D. and had to write the autopsy report...it would look something like this:
Name: New Orleans
Path MD: Dambala
Death Time: May 20, 2006
Asphyxiation caused by drowning led to the patient's demise but was not the final cause of death. The patient was sustained on life support for several months following the accident. A government agent was responsible for the accident and hence was federally protected from manslaughter charges. While there was much optimism about the patient's recovery, the subsequent neglect the patient was subjected to from it's assigned caretakers eventually led to the patient's demise. The patient's fate was sealed on May 20, 2006 when an incompetent caretaker was chosen to oversee the patient's recovery by the patient's family. Upon being appointed, the caretaker mysteriously disappeared for an extended and critical period of time in order to leverage what was left of the patient's estate to further his own self interests. The caretaker's neglect led to the patient's eventual demise.
Cause of Death:
Neglect, Incompetence, Greed