This slideshow (via mefi) is one of the most amazing accounts I've seen of the hurricane, before, during, and after. It contains photos from familiar landmarks and areas of the city and shows pretty clearly why people that stayed behind didn't think it was going to be that bad, and as it progressed, just how bad it would get. When the story gets to the lines awaiting buses you can feel the helplessness of the people left behind.
Looking at these photos knowing what we know now, I can't help but remember looking through a 9/11/2001 set of photographer's photos that told a similar story of a major event: calm followed by surprise and confusion and later untold devistation.
Nothing I've seen on TV or online comes close to the complete story this gallery of images gives. It's worth sitting through every caption and following along. Chilling stuff.