[UPDATE 2-April 1400: see the release of new imagery for New Orleans.]
[UPDATED 2210 ET]
The recent update to the imagery for Google Earth has caused a bit of an uproar. According to the GEC and my sources at Google, the imagery for New Orleans was actually changed last September. The previous imagery was directly after the storm struck, and was of inferior quality. Although the imagery of New Orleans is from pre-Katrina now, it is of better quality. If you have the Plus or Pro version of Google Earth you have the option to load two sets of post-Katrina imagery by logging out of the primary database. I think Google should consider getting more recent high quality imagery for New Orleans so it at least represents the present condition.
Apparently, Google selected a new set of high resolution photos for New Orleans. The only problem is that the new images are pre-Hurricane Katrina. So, all the damage that was caused by Katrina has now been erased in the Google Earth/Maps imagery database. CBS News says this move has sparked outrage and conspiracy theories in New Orleans. Ironically, the people in New Orleans have been some of the biggest fans of Google Earth as it helped save lives during and after the disaster. And, up until the recent update, residents used the pictures to illustrate damage to insurance adjusters, and to plan reconstruction efforts. Some of the conspiracies are that the local government itself requested the change to try and encourage tourism to come back to New Orleans.
In my opinion, Google should probably have considered the implications of such a change before releasing it in this fashion. Google could easily offer a layer which allows the new or old imagery to be shown. Perhaps this would be a good compromise. Surely, Google still has a copy of the old imagery. Actually, many GE enthusiasts have suggested it would be nice if Google offered a time selection capability on imagery so you could watch the evolution of a place over time from aerial photography.