I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, though I have spent my adult life in suburban New Orleans. I have been to Long Beach several times since the storm (see pictures from Christmas) but due to time constraints and roadblocks, have never really gone sightseeing--before today that is. I went to visit my parents but took a route that put me down on the beach several miles west of their house, and what I saw just made me sick, even though I had been told that's what I'd see. For 98% of the coast that I saw, you could see two blocks back--there was nothing there but oak trees. There was one small stretch, for anyone familiar with the area, of Scenic Drive in Pass Christian, which while it overlooks the beach, is up noticeably higher than the beach and the houses on which are often set back quite a way from the road, where the houses survived, with some even looking repairable.
One other thing that survived was the SS Hurricane Camille. Hurricane Camille hit the coast in August, 1969 and was "the worst hurricane ever" (at least until Katrina). One thing it did was wash a tugboat across the highway onto dry land. Some entrepreneur named it the SS Hurricane Camille and built a gift shop next to it. While the gift shop did not survive Katrina, the tugboat did--and it is where Camille left it. like this