By mid morning, water was splashing for several hundred yards over the western side of the Industrial Canal's floodwall near North Claiborne Avenue, said Jerry Sneed, New Orleans' director of homeland security and emergency preparedness.
The incident doesn't pose a major threat, Army Corps of Engineers officials said. Water levels had dropped 2 to 3 feet by mid afternoon near the Claiborne Avenue bridge, New Orleans police reported.
But after lower water levels were reported, other witnesses said waves continued to spill over the west floodwall at Florida Avenue, closer to the lake and near the junction with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
There was no apparent problem with the wall on the canal's eastern side. It was built stronger and 2 feet higher than the wall on the west side after Hurricane Katrina.The walls are considered an integral part of the plan to protect the area from flooding caused by a "100 year" hurricane storm surge, a term meaning that the storm has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring in any year.