Mandeville residents demand immediate flood protection with petition

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MANDEVILLE, La. -- In a week's time, a petition by Old Mandeville residents that calls for the city to put flood prevention methods in place immediately has been copied and shared numerous times.

People passing the pages around say getting dozens of signatures to fill them hasn't been hard.

"Everybody wants it, they want to get this done and get it done as fast as possible because the next storm is coming," said Henry Rosenthal.

Signers say talk over moveable flood walls, flapper valve covers and gates at canal openings, all examined in this engineering study released two months ago, needs to become action.

They put the message to paper because meetings, phone calls and letters aren't getting the job done.

"It’s a method to get the information to the politicians of what the citizens believe,"  Edward Goodwin said.

The mayor said he doesn't understand the purpose of the petition because the efforts to get flapper valves out here have already been underway for at least a month.

"We have certainly every intention of putting those on,” said Mayor Donald Villere. “It’s really a matter of getting all of the areas scoped, making sure everything is defined so a contractor can bid on it."

But that first bid process from 30 days ago for a trial set of flapper valves has to be re-done because there wasn't a qualified bidder.

The mayor says it could be 90 days before any movement on that first layer of protection will be seen, different than the original goal to have something in place this season.

 “Within the process that we have to operate, in government, it’s not gonna be done for this hurricane season," Villere said. 

But that's something residents aren't willing to just accept.

The mayor says the new bid process for the trial flapper valves will start again this week. Installation of the entire project is not expected to happen this hurricane season.

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