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The problem most people failed to realize was these were individual's vehicles not Ray Nagin's nor the city of New Orleans. You just can't rid something like a vehicle without owners consent and they were having trouble getting those consents. Same thing happened with houses.

...and now we have the rest of the story.

Not entirely.

In seeking a contract to remove thousands of flooded and wrecked cars from New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin's administration recommended that the city go with the highest quoted price for the job, a review of the 14 proposals submitted last year shows...

administrators confirmed last week that the contract still being finalized would cost approximately $23 million and the number of uninsured junkers still clogging city streets is between 20,000 and 25,000.

I can't find any reports where Nagin or New Orleans sought and/or received permission, or releases from the car owners to have them hauled away. I'm not saying they don't exist, but if they do, they didn't matter.
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