AFTERMATH: IDA RECOVERY BEGINS

Mayor to hold press conference today at 3PM

Total loss of power, services in St. Tammany Parish

Water safe to drink, says mayor

Curfew restrictions eased

911 service restored for Mandeville

Cleco and Spectrum restoration timeline expected soon

Could take weeks to restore services

City Council holds emergency meeting to allocate $525,000 for post-storm cleanup

Ida makes landfall as borderline Cat-4/Cat-5 storm


Updated August 31 at 1PM: Aftermath update #2
Updated August 30 at 10:25AM: Aftermath update #1
Updated August 29 at 6PM: Updates power outage numbers
Updated August 29 at 4PM: Updates power outage numbers; Refs Emergency council meeting.
Updated August 29 at 12:25PM: Updates that power restored.
Updated August 29 at 11:25AM: Updates that power expected to be restored soon.
Updated August 29 at 10AM: Add power outage update.
Updated August 29 at 7AM: Updates Ida projection.
Updated August 29 at 5:30AM: Adds flood model rendering. Updates Ida track and forecast.
Updated August 28 at 4PM: Adds latest statement from mayor.

MANDEVILLE — Mayor Clay Madden will hold a press conference at 3PM today (August 31st) as the city begins recovering from Hurricane Ida which brought a Katrina-like tidal surge and complete loss of power and government services to the entire area.

Initial reports indicate Mandeville could be without power for an extended period of time, perhaps weeks, but restoration timelines have not been provided yet, according to the mayor.

Madden issued a public statement on social media today (August 31st) which included updates on various aspects of the recovery, although more details are expected at the 3 p.m. presser.

According to the statement, 911 service has been restored to Mandeville. The service was completely knocked out by Ida’s impact.

Madden also noted that currently there is no boil-water advisory for Mandeville.

The mayor has eased the curfew, removing the daytime restrictions. Now the curfew is in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. Madden said the curfew will be strictly enforced by Mandeville Police.

He also said that the police barricades, which are put in place to keep sightseers away, will be completely closed off at night.

The City of Mandeville restored its Internet services late yesterday after being completely offline since the storm; however, city government cell phone services — provided through AT&T — are only partially restored after a 24-hour outage. The city issued a statement yesterday, explaining why the mayor nor the city had made any social media or website updates immediately after the storm passed through.

According to various officials, the city’s command center at City Hall has been running on generator power since yesterday (August 30th).

Here is the mayor’s complete statement:

MAYOR’S STATEMENT (August 31, 2021 at 12:30PM)

HURRICANE IDA TUESDAY UPDATES:

The curfew has been lifted for daytime. It will remain in effect from 7pm to 6am until further notice. Mandeville Police will strictly enforce the nighttime curfew.

Lake water is up to Claiborne Street as of this morning. It has gone down since last night. Please continue to stay away from the lakefront. Barricades will be pushed aside during the day to allow access for emergency and utility vehicles. However, barricades will be put back in place at night.

911 is restored for emergency calls. Please still call our Mandeville Police Department at 985-626-9711. The fire department phone number is 985-643-4242.

Cleco and Spectrum have contacted me. There are no set timelines for restoration currently. However, we hope to have timelines soon. Cleco did do a press conference yesterday, which I will post here when I get the link.

Permits for standing and leaning trees are required. Discretion should be used for downed trees. If you hire a tree company, please make sure they are licensed and insured. Ask for confirmation! All permit fees are waived.

Our debris contractor is out currently clearing streets in west Mandeville subdivisions and main roadways. Our public works department, police department, and friends from Fire District 4, are currently doing the same in Old Mandeville. This is expected to be completed by the end of Wednesday. Please bring all of your debris to the curb and do not block roadways or driveways. Debris pickup is expected to begin in the next week. Our debris contractor will get it all picked up, thanks to our proactive emergency plan contract, though it might take 3-4 passes.

The City of Mandeville cannot go on private property. However, we’ve had several volunteer groups offer to help with downed trees on private property. Please call Kristine Scherer, our Mandeville volunteer coordinator, at 504-259-1068.

Volunteer organizations are currently organizing distribution centers for items such as tarps and ice. Please stay tuned for updates on this.

I want to repeat-if you pay a water bill to the City of Mandeville, that means you live in the city limits of Mandeville. Mandeville City Limit residents are NOT under a boil water advisory. Our water is tested everyday and is safe to drink, bathe and cook.

Stay tuned for additional updates. God Bless!

Some officials said initial reports indicate about an eight-foot tidal surge in Mandeville. A flood projection model circulated on social media showed a seven-foot “what-if” scenario.

Former Planning & Zoning Commission Member Ren Clark posted a flood projection model rendering to social media Friday (August 27th) showing where and to what degree the flooding would affect Old Mandeville if Lake Pontchartrain were at six feet above normal with one foot added to account for rain runoff (see below). According to Clark, the color key shows the expected depth of water above ground for a seven-foot event.

Flood projection model rendering showing where and to what degree the flooding would be with Lake Pontchartrain at six feet above normal with one foot added to account for rain runoff. (Mandeville Daily/Ren Clark)
Flood projection model rendering showing where and to what degree the flooding would be with Lake Pontchartrain at six feet above normal with one foot added to account for rain runoff. (Mandeville Daily/Ren Clark)

Those residents who stayed walked out their doors this morning to a maze of trees crisscrossing streets and downed utilities lines, making it impossible to navigate streets. There are reports of trees on house throughout the parish.

Mandeville Police are stopping anyone on major thoroughfares such as Florida Street. Madden had previously announced that no one would be allowed to sightsee near Lakeshore drive.

AT&T cell service was completely down in the area for about 24 hours, leaving locals to connect to mobile hotspots on friends’ devices who have Verizon or other mobile services. Verizon cell service appears to be working.

City Councilman at Large and City Council Chairman Jason Zuckerman posted to social media this morning (August 30th) telling citizens that Mandeville city government is beginning damage assessments and clearing blocked streets.

AT&T cell service appears to be 100% down. Verizon still has service. I made it to City Hall earlier and they were beginning damage assessments. EMS is clearing major streets right now. Please stay off the roads…I will forward updates from the Mayor/City as they become available.

City Councilman at Large Jason Zuckerman

The City Council held an emergency meeting Sunday (August 29th) via video call to allocate $525,000 for post-storm cleanup as Hurricane Ida slowly moves through the area today, August 29th, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in 2005.

Power outages begin to mount early as predicted in Mandeville. Cleco’s status page is reporting several thousand Mandeville residents without power as of 6 p.m Sunday.

While Katrina made landfall near Slidell as a Category 3, placing Mandeville on the western side of the circulation, also known as “the good side” of the storm, Ida is expected to pass to the west of Mandeville, allowing the city to potentially receive the brunt of the more dangerous eastern side. This means winds in Mandeville will be from the south or south-east and flooding and tornadoes are major concerns.

Madden released an updated statement Saturday (August 28th), calling for a voluntary evacuation for residents living south of Monroe Street in Old Mandeville as well as issuing a curfew for all of Mandeville. Madden declared a state of emergency Friday. Madden also said that officials will not tolerate sightseers near Lakeshore Drive.

According to officials, Ida has the potential to displace residents and leave others without electricity for an extended period of time.

The mayor issued a statement on social media Friday (August 27th) warning residents of the potential for a four-to-six foot storm surge along the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline. Hurricane Katrina in 2006 brought approximately an eight-foot surge, he said.

Mandeville Mayor Clay Madden called for a voluntary evacuation for residents living south of Monroe Street. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
Mandeville Mayor Clay Madden called for a voluntary evacuation for residents living south of Monroe Street. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
MAYOR’S STATEMENT (August 28, 2021 at 2PM):

HURRICANE IDA IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Lake Pontchartrain storm surge is expected to be between 4-7 feet. Mandeville could experience hurricane winds between 74-110 mph.

Please make sure your property and your construction sites are secure. City staff has been throughout the city enforcing and inspecting construction sites for safety both yesterday and today.

Based on the advice of my Mandeville Emergency Response Team (MERT), I am calling for a voluntary evacuation for south of Monroe Street in Old Mandeville starting NOW.

I want to remind everyone, if we experience sustained winds of 39 mph or higher, emergency services such police, fire and ambulance will cease.

I am imposing a curfew in Mandeville beginning at midnight tonight. Please stay off the streets unless it is an absolute emergency.

Please do not go to the Mandeville Lakefront. We are not tolerating storm tourism during this Hurricane Ida event.

We have created an email address for everything Hurricane Ida in Mandeville. The email address is hurricaneida@cityofmandeville.com. Please send all reports of damage and other emergency requests to this email address.

Today is my one year anniversary as the Mayor of Mandeville. It is a pleasure to serve the citizens of Mandeville. My personal cell phone number is 985-630-8578. Thank you and stay safe.

MAYOR’S STATEMENT (August 27, 2021):

To the residents of Mandeville:

I and my staff have been monitoring the situation with Hurricane Ida and its potential impact on Mandeville. We are working closely with St. Tammany Parish government. The present forecast shows an impact to Mandeville with potential deadly winds, tornados, storm surge and heavy rainfall. If you have been monitoring this situation you will notice that the present forecast is for a storm surge of 4 to 6 feet along the Mandeville coastline. For the citizens who were living in Mandeville during Hurricane Katrina the NWS recorded storm surge for the area was 8 feet (plus or minus). I give you these numbers to point out the potential surge amount and impact area in coastal Mandeville. I and my team will continue to monitor the storm 24/7 and keep you informed as to any changes. Tomorrow will be a very important day in decision making as we should have better data to support those decisions that will be made for your safety.

This morning I convened a meeting of the Mandeville Emergency Response Team. Here are the meeting takeaways:

  • Our Police and Public Works Departments are following normal protocols for a Level 3 Storm in the Gulf.
  • I have filed a State of Emergency declaration today to begin at 5am Saturday morning.
  • A decision about when to place bollards/barricades along Monroe Street or Jefferson Street will be made in the morning.
  • Information about sandbag and shelter locations can be found out http://www.stpgov.org/storm
  • Please make sure you and your family has sufficient supplies and please check on your elderly neighbors.

As water comes over the seawall in Old Mandeville, and begins to accumulate on the streets, we ask that you avoid this area for the safety of our residents.

Please stay tuned to Facebook and our City of Mandeville website for more updates on the storm. Stay safe!

-30-

One thought on “AFTERMATH: IDA RECOVERY BEGINS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s