Possible flood solutions explored in Mandeville - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Possible flood solutions explored in Mandeville

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MANDEVILLE, La. - The city of Mandeville is trying to find solutions to one of it's biggest problems. Flooding inundates portions of Old Mandeville just about every year, and some officials say it may be preventable.

"For Sale" signs dot the Mandeville lakefront in front of homes of residents tired of persistent flooding.

"Whenever there's a southerly wind, not a hurricane, the streets start flooding," said Mandeville Councilman Ernest Burguieres, who also lives near the lake. 

Part of the problem, some say, are drainage pipes at the lake that feed water into Old Mandeville when the lake level rises during storms. The city of Mandeville has now begun a $280,000 study to seek solutions to problem, but some ask, "why wait?"

"We've already budgeted $1 million, so let's start using some of that," said Councilman Rick Danielson.

Several council members said the technology exists to stop some of the flooding. They say special rubber valves that would allow water to drain out but keep lake water from coming in would be a good first step.

Not only are the council members proposing flapper valves that would prevent the lake from pushing water into neighborhoods, but they're also proposing a simple dam to provide protection.

It's called a "rapidam," and video shows how it can absorb and deflect wave action away from the land.

"It's a simple, flexible wall so you would attach it to the seawall or the sidewalk, and where it was appropriate, water would come over the wall, and bounce back off," Danielson said.

While the council members are eager to tackle a problem that they call a top priority, they are resigned to waiting until the study is completed.

"If we don't have solutions in place as soon as possible, we're increasing our chances of another big event that will affect us," Danielson said.

Two more public meetings are scheduled to talk about possible flooding solutions in Mandeville - one in February and the other in June of 2014.

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