"Breaching refers to a hole or break in the integrity of the levee, while overtopping describes the water level rising above the top of the levee, but not the failure of the levee itself. The distinction between the two is crucial to the crux of this article."You can read all the related transcripts and watch all the videos in question, but it is clear from them that the president was correct when he said, on September 1, 2005, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." The only pre-Katrina warnings ever discussed warned of "overtopping" not "breaching" the levees.
Here's an excerpt from Mr. Hinderaker's article:
"Is it possible that all of these reporters have somehow missed all of the post-Katrina discussions about the important differences between levee overtopping (widely predicted before Katrina hit, including by CNN), and breaching of the levees, which apparently resulted from design or construction defects? It seems almost inconceivable that all of those involved in misreporting the video can claim ignorance."
New Orleans levee breaks