Mandeville officials gauge effectiveness of new flap valves

Mandeville officials gauge effectiveness of new flap valves

MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) - The floodwaters have for the most part drained from the Mandeville lakefront after last week's high tide pushed in from storms in the Gulf.

City officials are now assessing whether $300,000 worth of recent improvements made any difference. They were debated for two years. The city of Mandeville finally installed 32 flap valves over the summer, and last week's tide surge in the lake was their first big test.

"For the most part, I think they did well," said Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere.

But not good enough to keep the lakefront from flooding. Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville was shut down for three days. But unlike in the past, the flap valves kept the water from pushing in through city storm drains that feed directly into and out of Lake Pontchartrain.

But there are still major gaps that allowed high water in.

"We first saw water here because it came in through Coquille and Castine, and then started coming off the banks due to the harbor," said Villere.

That was no surprise. Floodgate structures at those cuts that feed into Mandeville could cost millions.

"That's what we're studying with the Corps and their silver jackets program, giving us real flood protection for Mandeville, at whatever level that is," said Villere.

While Lakeshore Drive is now clear, city officials are looking into a situation where water is pooling near drainage outfalls to see if those flap valves aren't draining properly.

"Let's go along and check each one to see how they operated," said Villere.

While many believe more protection is needed, there's a silver lining.

"We were fortunate we had no structures in danger of flooding," said Villere.

But city officials will be looking at other ways to protect the city, in advance of more tropical weather down the road. Mandeville officials hope to hear something from the Corps of Engineers on other viable flooding solutions within the next year.

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