Posted on December 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM
Friday, Dec 13 at 7:40 PM
MANDEVILLE- Middendorf's restaurant in Manchac has had its fair share of flooding. The last time was during Hurricane Isaac.
But when Tropical Storm Karen threatened it earlier this year, the owner used a new defense to stave off any storm surge.
"It's like my offering to the storm gods,” said owner Horst Pfeifer, “It's my offering. I buy it and you don't come."
While Karen didn't put the barrier, called Aquafence, to work, Hammond-company Hydrik has, to show frequently-flooded areas something that could help.
Mike Henry, with Hydrik, said, "It's used to replace sand bags, sand baskets. You use the Aquafences in places where you don't want a permanent flood wall. It's something you can put up and take down relatively fast."
The Aquafence comes in several heights, and uses incoming water's weight to stay in place while fighting off surge and waves. It's something that's now caught the eye of leaders in Mandeville.
"We could move something like this across Lakeshore Drive before a storm and it would provide 4 to 6 feet of extra seawall protection without obstructing anyone's views on a permanent basis," said Mayor Pro Tem Rick Danielson.
If the City of Mandeville were to invest in Aquafence, council members envision putting a call out to volunteers each spring time to teach them how to set the barriers up in a hurry. So in hurricane season, if a threat comes, one phone call would get the lakeshore the protection it needs fast.
Danielson said, "This is a very doable solution and it would provide immediate protection throughout the area. It would be just one part of a solution, but it is something I think we should consider."
And it's something leaders want the public's advice on, before going forward. That’s why they’re holding a public demonstration Saturday, December 14, from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. near the Gazebo by Lakeshore Drive and Carroll Street.