Flood levee "overtopped" in Louisiana: reports

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 29, 2012 5:23 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Water flowed over the top of a flood defense in southeast Louisiana early on Wednesday, threatening serious flooding, after huge rains caused by Hurricane Isaac, media reported.

"Emergency management officials in Plaquemines Parish reported overtopping of a levee on the east bank from Braithwaite to White Ditch. This will result in significant deep flooding in this area," the National Weather Service said, according to The Weather Channel's website.

Isaac has been almost stationary just off the Louisiana coast, dumping rain and threatening to push on to New Orleans later on Wednesday, exactly seven years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, some 60 southeast of New Orleans, said the 8 or 9 foot (3 meter) high levees had not collapsed but that water was coming over them.

"The levees are overtopped in several locations and we are trying to get the few people left behind out," Nungesser told CNN. Despite a mandatory evacuation in the area, he said, several people had remained.

"The roads are completely unpassable there were a couple of people stuck on the roads ... We have got a serious situation over there."

(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Alistair Lyon)