Both Betsy and Camille produced major flooding and loss of huge areas of New Orleans. Camille especially wrecked havoc in the earstern parts of the city and did more damage to southwest Mississippi than Katrina. What we didn't have was all the networks with their satellite gear broadcasting all over the world. The network news didn't have helicoptor footage showing folks stranded on thier roofs. Audry was just as bad in 57 and I can remember water everywhere! Audry, Besty and Camile were Cat 5's, Katrina was barely a Cat 3!
In regards to drinking water, that is a city and state responsibility. Both were warned in 02 that this was a high probability. They both ignored it!
P S The U S Coast Guard was evacuating folks within minutes of the huricane passing. Every state law enforcement official with a small flatboard was there right after too. The State National Guard should have been brought in prior to the hurricane but Gov Blanco panicked and could not make decisions. Nagin fled to Dallas for the first 1.5 days after!