28 Days Later: Photo survey of Ida Recovery

Before and after pix of Mandeville’s Hurricane Ida recovery progress

Photographer Eric McVicker contributes

Updated September 27, 2021 at 5AM

Today (September 27th) marks 28 days later. It has been 28 days since Mandeville woke up to unprecedented damage from a hurricane named Ida.

Hurricane Ida plowed through Mandeville on the evening of August 29th, 2021, damaging homes, businesses and parks with 100-mile-an-hour-plus winds and a devastating storm surge estimated at 7.6 feet. It toppled trees and utility poles on nearly every block south of Florida Street, effectively cutting off Old Mandeville from the rest of the world.

AT&T cell service was down for over 24 hours in the heart of Mandeville and unreliable for another day after that. Locals were seeking out friends who had different mobile carriers to make calls or posts to social media to let loved ones know they were OK.

On the morning of August 30th, Mandevillians found themselves climbing over trees and ducking downed utility poles just to check on neighbors only a block or two away. The recovery had begun.

Some had trees in their homes. Others had vehicles or property damaged by the storm. Businesses were flooded that hadn’t taken on water since — well — Hurricane Katrina.

The breadth of damage was disheartening to say the least.

But amazingly, the recovery and cleanup seemed to move much faster than anticipated. Perhaps it was because of the many lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, which ironically struck 16 years earlier to the day.

Cleco seemed well prepared. A number of residents had their power restored within days and most homes in Mandeville had lights within a week. Also, internet services were more easily restored compared with Katrina, probably due to advances in technology in the last 16 years, but still, impressive overall.

Mayor Clay Madden provided constant updates via social media as soon as the city regained cellular service. Unfortunately, the City of Mandeville government relied solely on AT&T, which one can only hope that the city’s new disaster response and recovery contractor Richard C. Lambert Consultants has identified as a serious flaw.

Other than the complete communications blackout from the city during the first 24 hours, the mayor regularly posted the exact information he was receiving from utility companies, almost as he was receiving it himself. Madden and other officials seemed aggressive to get debris cleared so that people could get in and out of the area, and more importantly, so that utility crews could begin their work.

Grocery stores opened using generator power within a few days of the storm. After Katrina, that was not the case.

Mandeville bounced back from Ida, and fast.

To illustrate the progress the city has made, Mandeville Daily and local photographer Eric McVicker conducted a photo survey of the damage on August 30th compared to now — 28 days later:

Mandeville Beach facing east

The Mandeville Beach had almost all of its sand washed over and onto Lakeshore Drive to the north. It took more than a week to move the sand back to the beach after having been cleared to a staging area just outside the park. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

August 30th, 2021: The Mandeville Beach had almost all of its sand washed over and onto Lakeshore Drive to the north. It took more than a week to move the sand back to the beach after having been cleared to a staging area just outside the park. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
August 30th, 2021: The Mandeville Beach had almost all of its sand washed over and onto Lakeshore Drive to the north. It took more than a week to move the sand back to the beach after having been cleared to a staging area just outside the park. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Mandeville Beach facing northeast

Within days city crews and contractors were busy moving the sand to a staging area south of Lakeshore Drive to clear the roadway for cars. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

August 30th, 2021: The Mandeville Beach had almost all of its sand washed over and onto Lakeshore Drive to the north. Within days city crews and contractors were busy moving the sand to a staging area south of Lakeshore Drive to clear the roadway for cars.(Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
August 30th, 2021: The Mandeville Beach had almost all of its sand washed over and onto Lakeshore Drive to the north. Within days city crews and contractors were busy moving the sand to a staging area south of Lakeshore Drive to clear the roadway for cars.(Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Coffee Street near Jefferson Street facing north

Two ladies in wading gear making their way down Coffee Street toward Lake Pontchartrain. (Eric McVicker Photography)

August 30th, 2021: Two ladies in wading gear making their way down Coffee Street toward Lake Pontchartrain. (Eric McVicker Photography)
August 30th, 2021: Two ladies in wading gear making their way down Coffee Street toward Lake Pontchartrain. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

Jackson Avenue at Tammany Trace facing north

Looking north down Jackson Avenue standing at the intersection of the Tammany Trace. City work crews can barely be seen here behind this tree as they clear a path through the numerous downed trees blocking one of Old Mandeville’s main access points. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

August 30th, 2021: Looking north down Jackson Avenue standing at the intersection of the Tammany Trace. City work crews can barely be seen here behind this tree as they clear a path through the numerous downed trees blocking one of Old Mandeville's main access points. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
August 30th, 2021: Looking north down Jackson Avenue standing at the intersection of the Tammany Trace. City work crews can barely be seen here behind this tree as they clear a path through the numerous downed trees blocking one of Old Mandeville's main access points. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Carroll Street near Lakeshore Drive facing north

Carroll Street near Lakeshore Drive facing north. The storm surge left its mark. (Eric McVicker Photography)

August 30th, 2021: Carroll Street near Lakeshore Drive facing north. The storm surge left its mark. (Eric McVicker Photography)
August 30th, 2021: Carroll Street near Lakeshore Drive facing north. The storm surge left its mark. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

Madison Street facing south toward Bayou Castine

Madison Street between Jackson Avenue and Atalin Street facing south toward Bayou Castine. Even almost 24 hours after Ida passed through, the water had only receded several inches, and leaves, limbs and debris of all kinds created a ‘carpet’ that obscured the bayou completely. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

August 30th, 2021: Madison Street between Jackson Avenue and Atalin Street facing south toward Bayou Castine. Even almost 24 hours after Ida passed through, the water had only receded several inches, and leaves, limbs and debris of all kinds created a 'carpet' that obscured the bayou completely. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
August 30th, 2021: Madison Street between Jackson Avenue and Atalin Street facing south toward Bayou Castine. Even almost 24 hours after Ida passed through, the water had only receded several inches, and leaves, limbs and debris of all kinds created a 'carpet' that obscured the bayou completely. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Monroe Street at Antibes Street East facing east

Monroe Street at Antibes Street East facing east. Trees and utility poles crisscrossed Monroe Street at multiple points. (Eric McVicker Photography)

August 30th, 2021: Monroe Street at Antibes Street East facing east. Trees and utility poles crisscrossed Monroe Street at multiple points. (Eric McVicker Photography)
August 30th, 2021: Monroe Street at Antibes Street East facing east. Trees and utility poles crisscrossed Monroe Street at multiple points. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

Monroe Street at Coffee Street facing west

Monroe Street at Coffee Street facing west. Trees and utility poles crisscrossed Monroe Street at multiple points. (Eric McVicker Photography)

August 30th, 2021: Monroe Street at Coffee Street facing west. Trees and utility poles crisscrossed Monroe Street at multiple points. (Eric McVicker Photography)
August 30th, 2021: Monroe Street at Coffee Street facing west. Trees and utility poles crisscrossed Monroe Street at multiple points. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

Atalin Street at Livingston Street facing north

Atalin Street at Livingston Street facing north. Much of the Jackson Avenue corridor, including Atalin Street, was a tangled mess of trees and utility poles and their wires. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

August 30th, 2021: Atalin Street at Livingston Street facing north. Much of the Jackson Avenue corridor, including Atalin Street, was a tangled mess of trees and utility poles and their wires. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
August 30th, 2021: Atalin Street at Livingston Street facing north. Much of the Jackson Avenue corridor, including Atalin Street, was a tangled mess of trees and utility poles and their wires. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Carroll Street at Lakeshore Drive facing north

Carroll Street at Lakeshore Drive facing north. The storm surge bent signs over as it pushed inland. (Eric McVicker Photography)

August 30th, 2021: Carroll Street at Lakeshore Drive facing north. The storm surge bent signs over as it pushed inland. (Eric McVicker Photography)
August 30th, 2021: Carroll Street at Lakeshore Drive facing north. The storm surge bent signs over as it pushed inland. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

Coffee Street near Jefferson Street facing south

Coffee Street near Jefferson Street facing south toward the lake. Water was still 2-3 feet high blocks inland almost 24 hours later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

August 30th, 2021: Coffee Street near Jefferson Street facing south toward the lake. Water was still 2-3 feet high blocks inland almost 24 hours later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
August 30th, 2021: Coffee Street near Jefferson Street facing south toward the lake. Water was still 2-3 feet high blocks inland almost 24 hours later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)
28 Days Later. (Eric McVicker Photography)

Tammany Trace near Jackson Avenue facing west

Tammany Trace between Jackson Avenue and Atalin Street looking west. The Trace was barely visible at numerous points. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

August 30th, 2021: Tammany Trace between Jackson Avenue and Atalin Street looking west. The Trace was barely visible at numerous points. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
August 30th, 2021: Tammany Trace between Jackson Avenue and Atalin Street looking west. The Trace was barely visible at numerous points. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
28 Days Later. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Editor’s Note: Mandeville Daily thanks photographer Eric McVicker for his contributions to this piece. His work greatly enhanced Mandeville Daily’s Hurricane Ida coverage.

UPDATE: City Council wrangles over mayor compensation – again, fails to take action

Mayor remains in limbo on who should pay retirement contribution

Updated September 24, 2021, at 10:30AM: Clarifies that the 2019 public referendum did not cut the mayor’s salary, but only changed the City Charter to allow a city council to do so, which they immediately did.

Updated September 24, 2021, at 6:00AM and 9:30AM: Adds comments and context from council members. Clarifies that current code expires with current mayoral term.

MANDEVILLE — After almost an hour of debate, the City Council failed to take action on what seemed like a simple matter to correct wording in city code that would have put the mayor in the same category as all other full-time city employees where the taxpayers foot the bill for their contributions to the state retirement system.

After several failed motions to change the wording of the ordinance, the council could only agree to defer the matter.

According to state law, the office of mayor is a full-time employee and hence is required to participate in the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS). Some cities pay their employees’ contributions, other cities do not. Mandeville is a city that does.

But on November 21, 2019, the previous council voted to cut the mayor’s salary from $114,475 to $94,500, not including benefits.

This came on the heals of the passage of a November 16, 2019, public referendum to change the City Charter, allowing the city council to cut a mayor’s pay. Before the referendum, the council could only vote to raise the salary of a mayor.

The problem is, Ordinance 19-33 used flawed legal language, saying the “Mayor may participate” in MERS, which needs to be corrected to read the “Mayor shall participate,” putting it inline with state law.

Mayor Clay Madden served as a council member on that 2019 City Council. Madden went on record at this meeting (September 23, 2021) to say that the council did not make a mistake with the 2019 ordinance because they were unaware at the time that the mayor is legally considered a full-time employee. Former District II Councilman Michael Pulaski, who also served on the 2019 council, appeared at the meeting and echoed the mayor’s sentiment.

“I don’t think we made a mistake. We just were not informed. Maybe that’s a legal problem.” Pulaski said.

Yet the fact remains, Ordinance 19-33 does contain a technical mistake, which is the reason why a new ordinance was proposed in the first place.

The issue for some on the council was that Ordinance 21-39 specifies that the city — or taxpayers — would pay the mayor’s retirement contribution, just like it does for all other full-time employees.

Councilman at Large Jason Zuckerman and Council Members Jill McGuire and Rebecca Bush where ready to put the matter to bed. Zuckerman said he felt the issue of the mayor’s compensation had been thoroughly debated at previous meetings and the council needed to move forward.

Zuckerman, who currently serves as the council chairman, said the council would need to revisit the issue later to craft language that would affect the next mayoral term because the current code only addresses the current mayoral term. Also, Zuckerman, McGuire and Bush had all previously said it would be unfair to single out one full-time employee by not paying their share into the system.

However, Councilman at Large Rick Danielson and District II Council Member Skelly Kreller were against adopting the ordinance as is.

Danielson offered two different motions on the evening.

The first proposed to phase in the taxpayer contribution one-third each year until the mayor is back to 100% taxpayer funded. Kreller was outright against the city paying any of the mayor’s retirement, but went along on this motion. The motion failed 2-3, with only Danielson and Kreller voting in favor.

In responding to a question from McGuire, Danielson said part of the reason he favored phasing in the MERS funding for the mayor was that doing so all at once was the equivalent of about a 10% pay raise for the mayor while other full-time employees were only receiving a 2.5% increase this year.

During budget workshops in recent months as well as the September 9th meeting, Kreller had a number of dustups with Madden over budget-related issues, including a $10,000 raise for Executive Assistant Trilby Lenfant.

Danielson’s second motion on the night would have changed the wording of Ordinance 21-39 to read “the Mayor shall pay the Mayor’s contribution,” not the city. That motion also failed 2-3 along the same lines.

Seeing the council was at an impasse, McGuire offered a motion to defer the matter to the October 14th meeting.

McGuire said, “This meeting has brought up several factors that have come into play. I thought this was just going to be a formality… We’ve hashed this out. We’ve discussed and discussed this… But we debated it from a budget perspective.”

Zuckerman disagreed with that assessment: “I know we debated the merits of it not just from a budget standpoint because I kept bringing up the issue of it not being fair to single out a full-time employee … from a benefits standpoint.”

The motion to defer carried 3-2, with McGuire, Danielson and Kreller in favor.

-30-

Email Mandeville Daily at editor@mandevilledaily.news

Mayor reports only handful remain without power

City Council to vote to lift permit fees for Ida repairs

Ida damaged many more utility poles than Katrina: Entergy

Spectrum ‘quadrupled’ their local workforce: mayor

Curfew lifted by mayor

Sunset Point suffers heavy damage to pier (photos)

Lagging Jackson Avenue corridor restored Sunday night

Many Spectrum, AT&T internet customers up and running, some not so lucky

No boil-water advisory for Mandeville residents

editor@mandevilledaily.news

Updated September 9, 2021, at 8:22AM: Updates the Cleco outage mage updates in last hour.

Updated September 9, 2021, at 7:42AM: Provides latest update.

MANDEVILLE — Mayor Clay Madden is reporting that fewer than 10 homes inside Mandeville city limits are without power while the Cleco outage map — which has been reasonably accurate throughout the Hurricane Ida recovery effort — shows roughly that number still in the dark.

The news is good for Mandeville just 11 days after Category 4 Hurricane Ida decimated portions of the city, leaving all of its citizens in the dark with presumably millions of dollars worth of damage to the immediate area.

Also, the City Council will consider the adoption of emergency Ordinance No. 21-40 to waive all local permit fees associated with residential and commercial building permits associated with Hurricane Ida.

Spectrum and AT&T internet and TV services returned for most in Mandeville as electricity was restored. However, there were a number of pockets of homes who were still offline as of yesterday, although a number of those are now reporting their services have been restored.

Mandevillians were greeted to damage unlike what was witnessed even after Katrina plowed through the area 16 years earlier to the day. According to various reports, more trees were toppled during this storm because the ground was already saturated due to recent rains and flash floods. This made it easier for high winds to overturn trees at the roots, and those trees are what brought down power lines in many cases.

In Old Mandeville, trees or utility poles blocked nearly every street — some at every block — at one point. It took up to 24 hours for locals or first responders to clear access to the area.

A number of Old Mandeville businesses suffered flood damage this time. La Lou, Nuvolari’s, the Grapeful Ape, and others within three blocks of the lake took on water and are effecting repairs.

Popular restaurant Nuvolari's took on several inches. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
Popular restaurant Nuvolari's took on several inches. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

A number of homes in Mandeville suffered significant tree and other storm-related damage. No Ida-related deaths were reported in Mandeville.

According to a graphic released by Entergy, Hurricane Ida damaged over 30,000 utility poles while Katrina took down around 17,000.

It’s going to be a while before all of Mandeville’s attractions are restored to pre-Ida states.

Sunset Point Fishing Pier suffered heavy damage and Madden said it will be closed indefinitely. The Mandeville Beach at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Lakeshore Drive was left in disarray by Ida, having all of its sand washed up on or north of Lakeshore Drive. It is unclear when the attraction will return to normal.

The regularly scheduled City Council meeting is tonight (September 9th) at the Paul Spitzfaden Community Center at 6 p.m. The mayor and other officials are expected to provide updates on the Ida recovery effort.

Mayor Clay Madden’s updates from September 9th:

SPECTRUM UPDATE:

I just got off the phone with a northshore manager at Spectrum. He said they have been working closely with Cleco, and now have trucks out in Mandeville. They have quadrupled their local staff and brought in out of state help. If your internet or cable TV services are currently out, then the best thing you can do is make a service call by calling 1-833-267-6094. They are open 24 hours a day. Please call that number to report your outage. If you have BOTH your internet and cable TV through Spectrum, you only have to make one call to report both. Lastly, he said the more people who call from one area, the quicker the turnaround time, so get your neighbors to call! I will provide an update on this tomorrow. For now, please call in your outages to Spectrum. Thank you!

THURSDAY HURRICANE IDA UPDATE:

Subject: Permit Process for Public

All plumbing, electrical, mechanical and/or structure repairs are required to be permitted and inspected. All Contractors are required to be State Licensed and Registered with the City of Mandeville. If you are unsure if you need a permit, please call the Planning Department at 985-624-3103 or email permits@cityofmandeville.com.

When you submit for a permit, the Building Official will come to do an inspection to confirm the type of inspections needed. We are prioritizing processing permits associated with Ida recovery. The Permit fees are being waived for work performed due to Hurricane Ida.

Mayor Clay Madden’s update from September 8th:

I’m down to below 10 homes in Mandeville city limits without power. I drove to all on my list today and almost all had just gotten power or had linemen in front of their house. If you are still down, text me at 985-630-8578. Thank you!

Editor’s Note: When reporting on outages and restorations, Mandeville Daily often provided updates on areas immediately outside Mandeville city limits because some of those areas are pockets surrounded city limits and residents there often consider themselves “Mandeville” even though they are not officially residents, like Lewisburg and areas north of Florida Street. With that said, the above reference to exactly how many remain without power was strictly considering only those inside Mandeville city limits. Tips and story ideas: editor@mandevilledaily.news.


Updated September 8, 2021, at 8:40AM: Provides latest update; Corrects Katrina anniversary reference;

MANDEVILLE — Perhaps as few as 100 households remain without power in the City of Mandeville today (September 8th) as locals continue to recover and rebuild in the wake of Category 4 Hurricane Ida, which devastated the city on the 16-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Cleco’s outage and storm center pages paint a much rosier picture for Mandeville than just 72 hours ago when large swaths of the city were in the dark one week after Ida made landfall, showing somewhere between 100-150 households without power. The estimated times to restoration (ETRs) for the remaining isolated trouble spots in Mandeville, including a significant patch at the far western edge of the city toward Madisonville, range from today through Saturday (September 11th).

While some residents reported their Spectrum and AT&T internet services were working when the power was restored, others say those services are still down.

The mayor announced yesterday he has lifted the city-wide curfew that had been in place since the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Mayor Clay Madden’s update from September 7th:

TUESDAY IDA MID DAY REPORT:

Curfew is lifted starting now! Curfew is over. There will be no curfew tonight. Mandeville Police will continue to be on double patrol and will focus on areas that are still dark.

Debris removal is beginning today. They are not leaving until everything is picked up. If your curb is already filled up, and you have more debris, say, in the backyard, that is okay. Bring your second round debris to the curb as soon as possible after your first round debris is picked up. They will keep making passes, but please don’t wait around-get your debris to the curb as soon as possible.

Hot meals continue to be served daily at First Baptist Church in Mandeville.

I am working hard on getting the last remaining areas still without power restored. I’ll do an update post later today on this. God Bless!

Updated September 7, 2021, at 8:30AM…

MANDEVILLE — Cleco now estimates power should be restored on or by Friday for the vast majority of the approximately 400 customers still without power in Mandeville, a far cry from just several days ago when most of the city was in the dark in the wake of Category 4 Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Sunday (August 29th) on the 16-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The Cleco outage and storm center pages show a September 10th estimated time to restoration (ETR) for most of those still without power in Mandeville.

The Jackson Avenue corridor, encompassing a significant portion of the eastern end of Old Mandeville, was reenergized Sunday night, after originally having ETRs ranging from September 8th to the 10th.

Cleco was, however, forced to cut power off twice for a few hours at a time in order to allow for excessively damaged blocks to be repaired with new equipment Monday (September 6th).

While some residents reported their Spectrum and AT&T internet services were working when the power was restored, others say those services are still down.

The popular Sunset Point Fishing Pier suffered heavy damage from Ida, according to local resident and photographer Eric McVicker who kayaked out to the attraction’s main pier for photographs. The park remains closed and will be temporarily used as a staging area for a city debris removal contractor, according to a statement by Mayor Clay Madden today. See photos below:

The popular Sunset Point Fishing Pier suffered heavy damage from Ida. (Eric McVicker Photography/Eric McVicker)
The popular Sunset Point Fishing Pier suffered heavy damage from Ida. (Eric McVicker Photography/Eric McVicker)
The popular Sunset Point Fishing Pier suffered heavy damage from Ida. (Eric McVicker Photography/Eric McVicker)
The popular Sunset Point Fishing Pier suffered heavy damage from Ida. (Eric McVicker Photography/Eric McVicker)

Garbage pickup is scheduled to resume tomorrow (September 8th) by Coastal Environmental, according to Madden. Recycling remains temporarily suspended, he added.

Mayor Clay Madden’s update from Cleco for today, September 7th:

TUESDAY MORNING QUICK IDA UPDATE:

I need to assess the areas around Mandeville still without power. I will do an update later today, however, I wanted to quickly update you on two items:

GARBAGE PICKUP: Regular garbage pickup will resume tomorrow morning (Wednesday) in Mandeville by our garbage provider, Coastal Environmental. Pickup is cart only. You can use your recycle cart for garbage and they will pickup up recyclables as garbage in tomorrow’s pickup. Recycling remains temporarily suspended. Moreover, they will NOT pickup up private round garbage cans tomorrow. They usually do, however, the mechanical truck they are using tomorrow cannot grab those-it can only grab the carts.

PARKS and DEBRIS: Neighborwoods and Paul Cordes Park (behind city hall) remain closed for clean up until further notice. SUNSET POINT remains closed until further notice and will be used as a STAGING AREA for our debris removal contractor. Debris removal begins TODAY and will continue until complete. Mandeville Police will be patrolling Sunset Point at all times. Any jokers who think it’s a good idea to sneak into Sunset Point will be arrested and heavily prosecuted. Sunset Point is an OFF LIMITS area until further notice.

Please call or text me with any questions (985-630-8578). I’ll do another power update later. God Bless!

Updated September 5, 2021, at 8:40PM: Adds power restored to Jackson Avenue strip.

MANDEVILLE — The Jackson Avenue corridor — one of last remaining major stretches of homes, spanning both south and north of Florida Street, that had been without power for a week since Hurricane Ida — finally became energized Sunday night (September 5th) after days of confusion and mixed signals over estimated times for restoration (ETRs).

The area had received an ETR of September 8th several days ago, but those who are following the progress of power restorations on Cleco’s website were disheartened this morning to see that the ETR had slipped to September 10th. But it changed yet again in the early afternoon, just before Mayor Clay Madden’s daily power update, to today’s date, September 5th.

Cleco delivered.

Officials have said since the early hours of the recovery effort that power restoration is a fluid situation that changes as more work is completed.


Customers also reported that both Spectrum and AT&T internet were already working when their lights came back on. This is a positive sign for those remaining in the dark as to when they’ll get their high-speed internet restored.

There are still significant pockets of homes without power in both Old Mandeville, Lewisburg and the far western edge of Mandeville city limits. Cleco’s posted ETRs range from September 7th to the 12th for those areas.

Updated September 5th at 3:25PM: Adds mayor and Cleco updates

MANDEVILLE — Power restoration estimates for sections of Old Mandeville still in the dark a week after Hurricane Ida struck received encouraging news today when Cleco updated its storm center and outage pages. Streets that only hours earlier had been estimated to receive power not before September 10th were given a new estimated time to restoration (ETR) of today (September 5th).

Cleco yesterday (September 4th) posted ETRs in Mandeville to show that certain key areas, such as the Jackson Avenue corridor, were set to get energized by last night, but that didn’t happen.

Then this morning, the Cleco outage map suddenly showed the same area with a September 10th ETR.

But with this afternoon’s update, the Jackson Avenue area — with a total of 365 affected households including streets north of Florida Street — should get energized tonight.

Mayor Clay Madden released a statement on social media confirming the Cleco update, saying the key streets “will receive restored power TODAY…”

Developing…

Mayor Clay Madden’s update from Cleco for Sunday, September 5th:

SUNDAY POWER UPDATE:

CLECO just sent out an update that the following Mandeville streets will receive restored power TODAY (Sunday, September 5)-

Mandeville

• Hickory Dr

• Bon Teps Roule

• Rebecca Ln

• Wilkinson St

• Aurora St

• Tanglewood (except Elmwood St)

• Golden Shores (Part)

• Avenue D

• Livingston St

• Avenue C

• Villere St

• Avenue B

• Montgomery

• Avenue A

• Lambert St

• Mariners Island

• Tops’l Condos

• Sandra Dl Mac Dr

• St Croix

• Cayman Ct

• St Jean Deluz Ave

• Mariners Blvd

• Antibes St

• Monroe St (Lambert St to Lafayette St)

• Wilkinson St (Villere St to Lakeshore Dr)

• Lakeshore Dr (West End to Carroll St)

• Massena (South of Monroe St)

• Hermitage on the lake

• Maple St

• America St (Coffee St to Gerard St)

• Carroll St (America St to McNamara St)

• Lafite St (Caroline St to America St)

• Adair St (Monroe St to Hwy 190)

• Reine St

• Albert St

• Prieto St

• Atalin St (Madison south)

• Woodlawn lane

Again, we are down to clusters of homes on

select streets that are still out. Please feel free to let me know and I’ll continue to contact CLECO.

A lot of folks have been asking me about Spectrum. If a tree knocked out your internet line, you will continue to have problems. Make an outage report to spectrum online using your phone if possible. However, in these situations it is common for Spectrum to hold off for a few days to allow for the electric companies to go first. However, I have seen some Spectrum trucks in some areas today.

God Bless!

Updated September 5, 2021, at 7AM: Adds lates info in a rolling update
Updated September 5, 2021, at 12:01PM: Adds no boil-water advisery

MANDEVILLE — After setbacks and letdowns, a significant number of blacked out areas of Mandeville were reenergized yesterday (September 4th), but a long list of other streets and strips that were estimated to have power by last night are still without, according to the latest information posted by Cleco and Mandeville Mayor Clay Madden.

In the last several days, Cleco created a special webpage where it provides a more detailed listing of estimated times to restoration (ETRs) down to the street level. Before Friday, those estimates were only delivered to public officials. Madden has posted those Cleco updates routinely since cell and internet services were restored to the City of Mandeville government and emergency response team after a 24-hour failure of the AT&T cellular network following landfall of Category 4 Hurricane Ida Sunday night.

According to the Cleco “Storm Center” webpage, the power company missed their ETRs for a long list of troublesome streets and strips in Mandeville, including the Jackson Avenue corridor and Monroe Street, targeted for yesterday (September 4th). Other areas including Marigny Trace, Colbert Street, Old Golden Shores and Brookside Drive could be four to 10 more days:

Cleco’s Estimates as of Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021

ETR, Sept. 4:

Dupard St (Coffee to Gerard St), Coffee St (Focher to Dupard), Focher St, Webster St, Lamarque St at Claiborne St, Claibirne St at Gerard St, Madison St at Gerard St, Monroe St at Gerard St, Claiborne St at Lafitte St, Colbert St (north of Hwy 190), Carmel Dr, Greenfielld Dr, Monterey Dr, Kingfisher Dr, Marigny Trace Subdivision, Jackson Ave (Lakeshore to Monroe), Atalin St (Madison to Montgomery), Albert St (Monroe to Villere St), Livingston (Jackson Ave to Colbert St), Bayou Dr, Ridgewood Loop (Part), Live Oak Dr (Part), Sandra Lee Dr (Part), Heavens Dr, Beau Chen, Penns Chapel Park, Lovers Ln (Brookside Dr North), Elmwood Pl, Park Dr (Brookside to Forest Dr), and Forest Dr (West part)

Marigny Trace, 2-4 days

Colbert St., 2-4 days

Old Golden Shores, 4 days

Brookside Dr., 8-10 days

These are the current outage maps as of publication time today at 7 a.m., Sunday, September 5th (outage.cleco.com).

Cleco outage map for western Mandeville as of 7AM Sunday, September 5th, 2021. (Mandeville Daily/Cleco)
Cleco outage map for western Mandeville as of 7AM Sunday, September 5th, 2021. (Mandeville Daily/Cleco)
Cleco outage map for eastern Mandeville as of 7AM Sunday, September 5th, 2021. (Mandeville Daily/Cleco)
Cleco outage map for eastern Mandeville as of 7AM Sunday, September 5th, 2021. (Mandeville Daily/Cleco)

Mandeville Daily will provide updates on this information throughout the day (September 5th).

Work is underway to restore the popular Mandeville Beach at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Jackson Avenue to its pre-Ida state. Workers have moved all the sand that had been deposited onto and north of Lakeshore Drive to a staging area closer to the beach park.

This City of Mandeville has not issued a boil-water advisory related to Hurricane Ida. Those who pay their water bill to the City of Mandeville do not have to boil their water.

Workers moving the huge amount of sand from the Mandeville Beach which Ida lifted and deposited onto and north of Lakeshore Drive. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
Workers moving the huge amount of sand from the Mandeville Beach which Ida lifted and deposited onto and north of Lakeshore Drive. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

Numerous food, ice and water distribution points have been set up in and around Mandeville, including local churches such as Church of the King and First Baptist Church of Mandeville.

Here are Madden’s updates from Saturday, September 4th:

SATURDAY HURRICANE IDA UPDATE:

Okay folks, here’s the long awaited Saturday post. I was not able to talk to my two local CLECO contacts today as they are working hard in the trenches. However, I spoke to a gentleman at the CLECO main office in Alexandria who worked the Mandeville area during Katrina. I gave him all the questions I had about certain areas and he is going to contact all the substation managers and send me updates piecemeal. So I won’t do one big post later today. Rather, I’ll post as I get updates on certain areas.

First and foremost, the answer to the question “ALL MY NEIGHBORS GOT THEIR POWER BACK ON EXCEPT ME AND THE TWO OTHER HOUSES AROUND ME” needs to be given. Per the CLECO rep I spoke with, this is typically caused by a service wire or fuse going to your house, or a row of three houses, being damaged. What can you do? PLEASE REPORT THIS TO CLECO ASAP!!! HINT: doing this online, rather than calling 1-800-623-6537, may expedite the process. So I would report it online. He told me they want to get these situations addressed ASAP while they are in the area, so please report this to them online ASAP. I’ve gotten this question from Girod St to Claiborne St to Marigny Ave to Monroe St to Heavens Drive. Please report all of these to CLECO!

Based on both feedback from Mandeville city limits residents and the outage map, here are the areas I asked for reports on (in no particular order):

-Heavens Drive/Chateau Village/Cedarwood

-Kleber St/Park Ave/Carondelet St

-Marigny Ave/Carroll St/Coffee St/Girod St/Monroe St

-West Beach area

-The Shadows/Fontainebleau near service road entrance

-Tanglewood

-Hermitage

-Mariners Village

-Parts of New Golden Shores, Old Golden Shores and The Sanctuary

Several subdivisions and areas came on in Mandeville yesterday and last night which is great news. I’m not going to stop until every Mandeville resident is fully restored.

Old Mandeville residents-please know that your particular situation may be a little more difficult to ascertain because of the long roads, both north/south and east/west. Some streets will have power on at some, but not all, of their houses. I’ve asked about every request that has come to me and will do my best to get the information out there. I have no indication that entire Old Mandeville streets are still completely out. All of them have some houses with power.

Again, as I get the info from the CLECO contact, I will post it. Thank you for your ongoing patience.

Thanks to our state GOHSEP office and a company we contracted with out of Texas called FPS recovery, our lift stations that still don’t have power will all have generators or pump trucks and we will be able to maintain service completely. Big thanks to our Public Works Director Keith LaGrange for his leadership here.

QUICK POWER UPDATE:

CLECO is starting to flip switches and more homes are starting to come on in Mandeville right now as we speak. Here is a list CLECO just put out for those who should get power restored today:

Mandeville

• Dupard St (Coffee to Gerard St)

• Coffee St (Focher to Dupard)

• Focher St

• Webster St

• Lamarque St at Claiborne St

• Claibirne St at Gerard St

• Madison St at Gerard St

• Monroe St at Gerard St

• Claiborne St at Lafitte St

• Colbert St (north of Hwy 190)

• Carmel Dr, Greenfielld Dr

• Monterey Dr

• Kingfisher Dr

• Marigny Trace Subdivision

• Jackson Ave (Lakeshore to Monroe)

• Atalin St (Madison to Montgomery)

• Albert St (Monroe to Villere St)

• Livingston (Jackson Ave to Colbert St)

• Bayou Dr

• Ridgewood Loop (Part)

• Live Oak Dr (Part)

• Sandra Lee Dr (Part)

• Heavens Dr

• Beau Chen

• Penns Chapel Park

• Lovers Ln (Brookside Dr North)

• Elmwood Pl

• Park Dr (Brookside to Forest Dr)

• Forest Dr (West part)

I still hope to get reports on those areas I asked about earlier today. Thanks!

Updated September 2, 2021, at 2:22PM: Corrects mayor’s language to ‘highly likely’ on power restorations.

Updated September 2, 2021, at 1:30PM: Adds Thursday update from mayor
Updated September 2, 2021, at 10AM: Adds Spectrum restoration source.
Updated September 2, 2021, at 6:20AM: Adds Cleco power restoration statement.

MANDEVILLE — A number of neighborhoods and businesses will likely get electrical power tonight as Cleco is set to energize key substations, according to Mayor Clay Madden.

Madden, in his daily Ida recovery update, said he spoke to Cleco officials today and they tell him that Greenleaves, Golden Glen, Lakewood Heights, Mariner’s Village, New Golden Shores, the Causeway Blvd. system, some in Old Golden Shores, and the surrounding commercial areas from Rouse’s to Neighborhood Walmart are “highly likely” to be energized tonight. Also Mandeville City Hall and the Mandeville Police complex are expected to get power.

However, the call from Cleco brought bad news for other areas, as officials told the mayor areas near Jackson Avenue could be another four-to-five days, and Tanglewood another week.

The entire St. Tammany Parish electrical grid went down as Hurricane Ida plowed through the region on the Hurricane Katrina anniversary August 29th, and original estimates from various sources were that Mandeville could be without power and other services for two weeks or longer, which is apparently no longer the case.

The report on the Jackson Avenue area jives with what several locals with businesses in the area said they were told by power company workers who felt confident that power in Old Mandeville would be restored by Monday, Labor Day, which would be four days from now.

A Spectrum worker who preferred not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the company told Mandeville Daily that typically the Spectrum repair trucks roll right along with or directly behind Cleco trucks in a coordinated effort, so Spectrum service restoration often follows on the heals of Cleco.

However, this individual said that as of yesterday (September 1st) there was a problem with the main line that provides service from Slidell to the western half of St. Tammany Parish at present. Currently there are several dozen “faults” between Mandeville and Slidell that need to be diagnosed and repaired before western St. Tammany Parish — including Mandeville — has service.

This means Spectrum internet could lag several days behind Cleco’s restoration in this scenario — but not necessarily — according to the source.

Customers with AT&T fiber optic internet service are reporting that their internet connections returned with the electricity being restored or hooking up generators.

Madden announced yesterday (September 1st) that there “soon will be” two points of distribution in St. Tammany parish for MREs (U.S. military meals-ready-to-eat), water and possibly ice. Those locations are: First Baptist Church, 16333 Highway 1085, Covington, and Heritage Park, 1330 Bayou Lane, Slidell.

The mayor also said he is pushing to have a third location set up in Mandeville soon.

The recovery effort hasn’t been without trouble. A man was arrested yesterday for allegedly causing a fight at a Mandeville gas station. “This will not be tolerated and fighters will go to jail,” the mayor added.

The mayor also cautioned residents that because there are still many downed power lines throughout Old Mandeville they are not marking them all with cones or barricades.

Mandeville Police are actively enforcing a ban on sightseers along the Lakeshore Drive area, stopping cars or pedestrians to confirm they either live in the affected location or are actively assisting someone in recovery or repairs. Madden previously announced a zero-tolerance policy to deal with violators.

A citywide curfew remains in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., Madden said.

The popular “Mandeville Beach” at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Jackson Avenue appears to have suffered catastrophic damage. While structural damage to the playground facilities was minimal, most if not all of the sand from the beach was moved by the storm surge to the northern side of Lakeshore Drive.

Looking east along Lakeshore Drive at what was the Mandeville Beach. The sand that was to the right has been completely moved to the roadway and north of the roadway. Part of the sidewalk at the pedestrian been was washed out too. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)
Looking east along Lakeshore Drive at what was the Mandeville Beach. The sand that was to the right has been completely moved to the roadway and north of the roadway. Part of the sidewalk at the pedestrian been was washed out too. (Mandeville Daily/William Kropog)

To see more photos of Old Mandeville damage, check out the Mandeville Daily Facebook page.

Here is Mayor Clay Madden’s complete public statement for Thursday, September 2nd:

THURSDAY HURRICANE IDA UPDATES:

As I’m writing this, I just received a call from CLECO:

Two substations in Old Mandeville are likely to go HOT tonight-the Penn Street and the Lambert Street subs. It is highly likely that Mandeville City Hall, Mandeville Police Station, Greenleaves, Golden Glen, Lakewood Heights and the surrounding commercial areas from Rouse’s to Neighborhood Wal Mart will go hot tonight. This also includes Mariners Village, New Golden Shores, and the Causeway. Some in Old Golden Shores are on the Causeways system. Certain areas of Old Mandeville could come on tonight. Areas near Jackson Avenue could be another 4-5 days. Tanglewood is looking like another week. It is still a fluid situation.

Cleco could NOT give me an estimate on the Sanctuary substation. They hope to later today. This sub feeds most of the neighborhoods along the west approach such as Weldon Park, Woodstone, Fontainebleau, The Sanctuary, Beau Rivage and includes me in the back of Old Golden Shores along with Lewisburg. I will continue to connect with Cleco on this for the duration of the storm recovery.

Curfew is still in effect for night time, but the times have been adjusted to 10pm to 6am. MPD will continue to strictly enforce this.

The Point of Distribution (POD) for the west side of the parish is now open at First Baptist Church in Covington-16333 Highway 1085. They have MREs, water and ICE.

I am continuing to fight hard for a POD in Mandeville. In the meantime, the First Baptist Church in Mandeville, located at 1895 Highway 190, will have water all day and 1500 hot meals today from 4-6pm. I have put in an official WebEOC request for tarps and ice. The biggest requests I’m getting are for tarps and ice. Anyone who has these, I’m diverting to the First Baptist Church in Mandeville. I hope to have these items there sometime today. Stay tuned! Unfortunately, I as the Mayor have NO control over gasoline. Those are private businesses. However, I have made all elected officials above me aware that we have a gas shortage in Mandeville.

The majority of our roads are now passable. A big thanks to our Department of Public Works, Mandeville Police, and Fire District 4, for intense tree cutting the last few days, along with our debris contractor. There are a few exceptions-roads with trees or poles tangled in power lines. Do not go near, or drive under, any hanging trees or power posts that are tangled in power lines.

Debris pickup will begin on Tuesday, September 7. This includes green waste/trees, construction and demolition, and white goods (appliances). Please separate these piles as best you can to speed up the process. Anyone who did not get their trash cart picked up on Wednesday, please have it by the curb on Saturday morning for pickup. NOTHING BAGGED will be picked up by either our debris contractor or garbage provider. This is because they cannot see what is in it. Bagged garbage will NOT be picked up.

Our Emergency Response and Recovery consultants have been assessing city assets. We’ve made the determination that the following public parks are CLOSED until further notice-Paul Cordes Park behind City Hall and Neighborwoods. The Tammany Trace is closed. Additionally, the walking bridge near Jackson Ave. on Lakeshore Drive sustained damage and is barricaded.

TREES-if you have a leaning tree on private property and you fear it will fall on your property, it is your responsibility to remove it. The city cannot go on private property. If you fear a leaning tree may fall on a city right of way or utility line, call our planning department at 985-624-3103 or email at planning@mandevillela.net. However, our debris monitoring contractor will be assessing all leaning trees on city right of ways.

Please stay tuned for further updates. My cell is 985-630-8578. Thank you!

This is a developing story. We will continue to provide updates on the Hurricane Ida recovery efforts here.

-30-

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-

FLASH: ’Massage Parlor’ ordinance adopted

Makes it more difficult to conduct business while skirting state licensing rules

Dovetails with resolution to work with law enforcement to crack down

MANDEVILLE — The City Council tonight voted unanimously to make it more difficult for illicit ‘massage parlors’ to operate in the City of Mandeville.

Ordinance No. 21-26 empowers the city to revoke the licenses of businesses — including massage parlors — that are believed to be in violation of city, state or federal law. The ordinance was preceded by the adoption of Resolution No. 21-38 at the August 12th meeting which pledges city support to work with law enforcement agencies to crack down on these establishments.

Introduced by District I Councilwoman Rebecca Bush, the ordinance alters the Mandeville City Code of Ordinances Section 14-10, which is used to regulate the issuance and renewal of annual licenses to conduct business.

Previously, the city could only deny the application for a license or refuse to renew one if the city has “reasonable grounds to believe” the applicant or business is in violation of a law. With just seven words, revocation action has been added to the teeth of the law.

The change was prompted by a recent controversy surrounding two now-closed massage parlors that were operating inside Mandeville city limits, when an undercover sting operation by law enforcement netted an arrest at one of those establishments.

Michele Avery, president of Beau West Homeowner Association, told the council, “I think this is a great move… I’m very thankful to you for working with me to put this ordinance together.”

Bush thanked Councilmen at Large Rick Danielson and Jason Zuckerman for their help in bringing the ordinance related resolution to fruition.“

“I think it’s a good step forward, and a good effort on behalf of many people,” she added.

-30-

’Massage Parlor’ ordinance up for vote

Proposal would allow city to yank license of any business found to be in violation of law

Updated August 26, 2021, at 6:27AM: Changes “found” to “believed” in lead for clarity.

MANDEVILLE — The City Council will vote tonight (August 26th) to empower the city to revoke the licenses of businesses — including massage parlors — that are believed to be in violation of city, state or federal law.

Ordinance No. 21-26, introduced by District I Councilwoman Rebecca Bush, would alter the Mandeville City Code of Ordinances Section 14-10, which is used to regulate the issuance and renewal of annual licenses to conduct business.

Currently, the city can only deny the application for a license or refuse to renew one if the city has “reasonable grounds to believe” the applicant or business is in violation of a law. With just seven words, revocation action will be added to the teeth of the law.

The proposed change was prompted by a recent controversy surrounding two now-closed massage parlors that were operating inside Mandeville city limits, when an undercover sting operation by law enforcement netted an arrest at one of those establishments.

A 52-year-old employee was booked on one count of prostitution by massage along with license violations. She was later released on $1,000 bond. The “OBH Massage Therapy” — the establishment where she worked — later closed when it was evicted by its landlord, but concerned citizens were frustrated that the arrest itself did nothing to close the business. The city was powerless to act.

But that would change if the City Council adopts the measure Thursday, in effect rewriting Section 14-10 to read as follows, adding the bolded text:

The tax collector of the City of Mandeville or his duly authorized assistants may refuse to issue or renew a license or revoke a license whenever the tax collector or authorized assistant has reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant for the license or the license holder is conducting the trade, business, profession, vocation or calling for which the license is sought in violation of any law of the United States of America or the State of Louisiana or in violation of any ordinances or regulations of the City of Mandeville.

Michele Avery, president of Beau West Homeowner Association, told Mandeville Daily “this is a good first step” because neither of the two massage parlors in question were properly licensed with the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy.

Avery had been pushing for months to get law enforcement agencies to investigate the establishments in question — ones that she and other activists allege were “operating outside of the law and in plain sight.”

Avery added, “This ordinance would give the City the ability to revoke their occupational license if they are not properly licensed… However, keeping this form of sex trafficking out of Mandeville will require a partnership of active citizens, law enforcement, code enforcement and landlords that are not willing to lease to these types of establishments.”

The City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 26th, at 6 p.m. at the Paul Spitzfaden Community Center in Mandeville.

-30-

City Council seeks AG opinion on Lenfant raise

Contentious debate among council, mayor, officials raises more questions

Mayor gave executive assistant $10K raise in June

Council says they should have been advised

MANDEVILLE — Over an hour of often-heated debate at tonight’s City Council meeting (August 12th) ended with a 4-1 vote to ask the state Attorney General for an opinion on whether a $10,000 raise Mayor Clay Madden recently awarded his executive assistant Trilby Lenfant is allowed under the city’s budget rules. The raise brings Lenfant to almost $82,000 annually. Only District I Councilwoman Rebecca Bush voted against.

At the heart of the matter is that Madden gave Lenfant the raise without first consulting the council, just months after the mayor’s proposal to move Lenfant into a proposed “Director of Administration” post with a $90,000 salary was rejected by the council.

Bush, Finance Director Kathleen Sides and City Attorney Elizabeth Sconzert debated budgeting and finance technicalities and legalese with the other members of the council, particularly Councilman at Large Rick Danielson, District III Councilwoman Jill McGuire and District II Councilman Skelly Kreller, who all expressed frustration with how Lenfant’s raise was awarded.

Individual council members have weekly breakfasts with the mayor — in groups of two so that the Open Meetings Law isn’t violated by forming a quorum — and Danielson, McGuire and Kreller said they were not told in advance about the raise.

Danielson said they only heard a rumor that the raise had been given after the fact. McGuire said she is frustrated that the City Council had to file a formal public records request just to receive details about the raise.

Resolution No. 21-33, introduced by Kreller, requests an opinion from the State Attorney General’s office on whether the raise broke City of Mandeville budget rules.

According to members of the council, any line item change of greater than 5% is supposed to go through a budget adjustment process, which would require council approval. However, in this particular situation the question being asked is, what constitutes an actual line item. Both Sides and Sconzert disputed whether the 5% rule applies to individual raises.

The budget for fiscal year 2020-21 — as adopted by the City Council under Ordinance 20-13 on Sept. 10, 2020 — is comprised of various exhibits, labeled B, C and D.

Exhibit B is titled “Job Class Detail” which lists the pay levels for each of the city’s job classifications under both General Government (10100) and Police Department (10110). The “Executive Secretary” (Trilby Lenfant) is listed as $71,782,65. The total for the General Government category in the exhibit is reported as $1,294,648.98.

But Exhibit D, which contains the so-called line items one typically associates with a budget has an entry for “General Government – Salaries” with a requested budget of $1,318,049 for 2021.

This makes Exhibit B more like a detail record of the “Salaries” line item in Exhibit D. Apparently the Attorney General is being asked for an opinion on which one constitutes the actual line item and hence is subject to the 5% rule, if it is applicable.

Developing…

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Claire Durio, Scott Quillin appointed to P&Z Commission

Durio’s partial term to expire in 2025

Quillin to serve full 7-year term, expiring in 2028

MANDEVILLE — The City Council tonight appointed Claire Durio and Scott Quillin to fill two vacancies on the Mandeville Planning & Zoning Commission.

Durio, appointed with a 5-0 vote, will complete Jeff Lahasky’s unfinished term which expires at the end of August 2025. Lahasky moved outside city limits, requiring him to resign. Scott Quillin, appointed on a 4-1 vote, will serve a full seven-year term, replacing outgoing commission member Ren Clark. District I Councilwoman Rebecca Bush voted against Quillin.

Durio is a licensed attorney in the State of Louisiana and a state-licensed title agent with experience in land use, development, permitting, historic preservation. She is listed as a general partner in her current firm.

Quillin is an engineer, licensed commercial contractor, and project manager at a local company managing large construction projects in the energy industry. He is currently listed as project manager with a local engineering consultant firm. Served on the Planning & Zoning Commission one term from 2009-2016.

The City Council updated its selection procedures in 2020 with the adoption of Resolution No. 20-17, which established a six-step process for making appointments to municipal or district boards and commissions, including the Planning & Zoning Commission. The procedure as adopted includes: 1) Announce at a council meeting the request for resumes; 2) Post the request for resumes on the city’s website and City Hall front door; 3) Publish the request for resumes in the city’s official journal of record (The St. Tammany Farmer); 4) Allow 14 days to receive resumes; 5) Review of the resumes by two members of the City Council (allow interviews by all council members) and then make a recommendation on one applicant (per vacancy); 6) Vote by the City Council to appoint “the candidate who received the recommendation.”

In filling these vacancies, Councilman at Large Jason Zuckerman and Bush handled the recommendation to fill Lahasky’s seat, while Councilman at Large Rick Danielson and District III Councilwoman Jill McGuire handled the seat vacated by Clark.

Bush, who had previously stated that she would like a District I resident appointed to a vacancy, said she and Zuckerman could not agree on her first two recommendations — Cynthia Thompson and Michael Gagliardi — but that they were able to agree on Durio. Zuckerman has maintained that he would only support the most qualified applicant regardless of their district of residence.

Danielson and McGuire recommended Quillin, but Bush took exception, saying, “I cannot support the appointment of a commissioner who has already served, and that’s just my position.”

District II Councilman Skelly Kreller said he disagreed with Bush on the matter. “I have to look at the best… and he definitely comes to the top. I’m not sure where you’re coming from with your comments.”

Each Planning & Zoning Commission member serves seven-year terms, which are staggered by one year and expire August 31 of the expiration year. Durio and Quillin will join five other Planning & Zoning Commission members: Planning Chairwoman Karen Gautreaux (2027), Zoning Chairman Nixon Adams (2023), Simmie Fairley (2022), Mike Pierce (2024), and Brian Rhinehart (2026).

According to the original agenda, the council could only have voted to fill the unfinished term vacated by Lahasky. The updated agenda means the council could fill both vacancies at tonight’s meeting, which they did.


RELATED STORY: Council could fill both P&Z vacancies tonight, not just one


A vote to fill one of the vacancies was delayed at the July 22nd council meeting. A question was raised during that meeting over the availability of the list of applicants for public inspection as required by state law.

The Planning and Zoning Commission appointment provisions are outlined under the Comprehensive Land Use Regulations Ordinance (CLURO) Sec. 2.1.2: “All successive appointments to the Planning Commission (includes Zoning Commission) shall be appointed by a majority vote of the City Council. No person shall be appointed to the Planning Commission until a public hearing before the City Council attended by the nominee has been held.”

The point raised was, can the city hold a “public hearing” on an individual without publishing the name of that individual or individuals in advance. The Louisiana Open Meetings Law (R.S. 42:11 – R.S. 42:28) only states that meeting agenda items must be “described with reasonable specificity.”

Mandeville Daily filed a public records request with the city and received the redacted list of applicants in a timely manner.

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Council could fill both P&Z vacancies tonight, not just one

Original agenda advertised filling 4-year unfinished term

Updated agenda opens door to filling either or both posts

Panel from council to recommend name(s) for vote

Updated August 12, 2021, at 8:30AM: Adds reference to council procedure on selection process adopted in 2020.

Updated August 12, 2021, at 10:26AM: Clarifies council procedure and process.

MANDEVILLE — The City Council could vote to fill both vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Commission at tonight’s meeting instead of just one, according to an updated meeting agenda released yesterday.

A vote to fill one of the vacancies was delayed at the July 22nd council meeting. A question was raised during that meeting over the availability of the list of applicants for public inspection as required by state law.

The Planning and Zoning Commission appointment provisions are outlined under the Comprehensive Land Use Regulations Ordinance (CLURO) Sec. 2.1.2: “All successive appointments to the Planning Commission (includes Zoning Commission) shall be appointed by a majority vote of the City Council. No person shall be appointed to the Planning Commission until a public hearing before the City Council attended by the nominee has been held.”

The point raised was, can the city hold a “public hearing” on an individual without publishing the name of that individual or individuals in advance. The Louisiana Open Meetings Law (R.S. 42:11 – R.S. 42:28) only states that meeting agenda items must be “described with reasonable specificity.”

Excerpt from Louisiana Open Meetings Law (R.S. 42:11 - R.S. 42:28)
Excerpt from Louisiana Open Meetings Law (R.S. 42:11 – R.S. 42:28)

The original agenda stated “Appointment of Commissioner to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a 4-year term.” The updated agenda, released yesterday (August 11th) at approximately 5:30 p.m., changed this item to read: “Appointment of Commissioner(s) to the Planning & Zoning Commission,” which opens the door to filling either or both vacancies.


RELATED STORY: Field of 9 applicants vie for 2 P&Z vacancies


This verbiage is the same that was used in previous years when P&Z appointments came before the council, but in those instances the complete resumes had been made available, a practice that had drawn criticism because it went beyond the scope of what the law requires, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The Louisiana Public Records Law (R.S. 44:1 – R.S. 44:41) says only the names of the people who apply for such positions “with policymaking duties” along with “related qualifications, relevant employment history or experience” are public record, not necessarily their complete resumes.

Excerpt from Louisiana Public Records Law (R.S. 44:1 - R.S. 44:41)
Excerpt from Louisiana Public Records Law (R.S. 44:1 – R.S. 44:41)

Mandeville Daily filed a public records request with the city and received the redacted information in a timely manner.

The City Council updated its selection procedures in 2020 with the adoption of Resolution No. 20-17, which established a six-step process for making appointments to municipal or district boards and commissions, including the Planning & Zoning Commission. The procedure as adopted includes: 1) Announce at a council meeting the request for resumes; 2) Post the request for resumes on the city’s website and City Hall front door; 3) Publish the request for resumes in the city’s official journal of record (The St. Tammany Farmer); 4) Allow 14 days to receive resumes; 5) Review of the resumes by two members of the City Council (allow interviews by all council members) and then make a recommendation on one applicant (per vacancy); 6) Vote by the City Council to appoint “the candidate who received the recommendation.”

According to this procedure, the name of the person being recommended is known to at least two, if not all, of the council members at this point, and a public hearing will be held tonight on that recommendation before a vote. Presumably, the council could be voting on any of the nine applicants, whose names were released after a formal public records request was made to the city in late July.

Each Planning & Zoning Commission member serves seven-year terms, which are staggered by one year and expire August 31 of the expiration year. The applicant selected to fill Lahasky’s vacated seat will only serve to complete the remainder of his term which expires in 2025. The other applicant will start a new seven-year term, expiring in 2028. The applicants appointed to these two vacancies will join five other Planning & Zoning Commission members: Planning Chairwoman Karen Gautreaux (2027), Zoning Chairman Nixon Adams (2023), Simmie Fairley (2022), Mike Pierce (2024), and Brian Rhinehart (2026).

According to the original agenda, the council could only have voted to fill the unfinished term vacated by Lahasky. The updated agenda means the council could fill either vacancy or even both.

As of press time, the list — redacted or otherwise — was not available for download on the city’s website.

The City Council will have a field of nine applicants to consider when filling the vacant Planning & Zoning Commission seats at the tonight’s council meeting (August 12, 2021).

Five men and four women, representing each of the three city districts, have submitted their resumes for consideration to fill the slots being vacated by Ren Clark and Jeffrey Lahasky. Clark’s term expires in August and Lahasky moved outside city limits.

Here is a summary of the nine applicants, with their redacted resumes and cover letters available at the end of the story.

Michael R. Gagliardi, 73, District I

His resume says he has business management experience with a degree in economics and business marketing with food service management training. He is currently listed as the general manager of a local hardware store. His is listed as having a B.A. in economics and business marketing.

Christian H. Jones, 40, District I

His resume says he is an architectural designer and general contractor with over 20 years of experience, who owns his own design and construction firm. He is listed as having a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Urban Design.

Scott Kevin Quillin, 55, District I

His resume says he is an engineer, licensed commercial contractor, and project manager at a local company managing large construction projects in the energy industry. He is currently listed as project manager with a local engineering consultant firm. Served on the Planning & Zoning Commission one term from 2009-2016.

Cynthia Strong Thompson, 55, District I

Her resume says she is a financial advisor (member FINRA/SIPC, CRPC, and AAMS) and former surgical sales specialist who has been active with the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and has served as board chair with several non-profits. She is listed as the managing director of her current firm. She is listed as having a B.A. in political science.

Elizabeth Barilleaux, 50, District II

Her resume says she is a licensed residential realtor and CCCIM candidate with B.S. in environmental engineering. She is currently employed with a local realty group.

Shawn C. Potter, 42, District II

His resume says he is an institutional research director with MBA and over twenty years experience with higher education institutions. He is currently listed as Director of Institutional Research with Tulane University.

M. Claire Durio, 54, District III

Her resume says she is a licensed attorney in the State of Louisiana and a state-licensed title agent with experience in land use, development, permitting, historic preservation. She is listed as a general partner in her current firm.

Andrea J. Fulton, 61, District III

Her resume says she has extensive experience in city government, community service, the public sector and non-profit and business settings, most notably with the City of New York, with a B.S. in HDSP/Human Resources and Industrial Psychology & Industrial Engineering.

Jeffrey R. Lyons Sr., 63, District III

His resume says he is a restaurant management and operations specialist with over 30 years experience with an emphasis on professional development. He is currently listed as the general manager of a New Orleans seafood restaurant. He is listed as having an associates degree in culinary arts and food service management. Lyons ran unsuccessfully for the District III council seat in 2016, being eliminated in a close primary.

Download the applicants’ redacted resumes and cover letters here.

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City Council may seek AG opinion on Lenfant raise

Mayor gave executive assistant $10K raise in June

MANDEVILLE — The City Council will vote Thursday to ask the state Attorney General for an opinion on whether a $10,000 raise Mayor Clay Madden recently awarded his executive assistant Trilby Lenfant is allowed under the city’s budget rules. The raise brings Lenfant to almost $82,000 annually.

Resolution No. 21-33, introduced by District II Councilman Skelly Kreller, would request an opinion from the State Attorney General’s office on whether the raise broke City of Mandeville budget rules.

Any line item change of greater than 5% is supposed to go through a budget adjustment process, which requires council approval. However, in this particular situation the question being asked is, what constitutes an actual line item.

The budget for fiscal year 2020-21 — as adopted by the City Council under Ordinance 20-13 on Sept. 10, 2020 — is comprised of various exhibits, labeled B, C and D.

Exhibit B is titled “Job Class Detail” which lists the pay levels for each of the city’s job classifications under both General Government (10100) and Police Department (10110). The “Executive Secretary” (Trilby Lenfant) is listed as $71,782,65. The total for the General Government category in the exhibit is reported as $1,294,648.98.

But Exhibit D, which contains the so-called line items one typically associates with a budget has an entry for “General Government – Salaries” with a requested budget of $1,318,049 for 2021.

This makes Exhibit B a detail record of the “Salaries” line item in Exhibit D. Apparently the Attorney General is being asked for an opinion on which one constitutes the actual line item and hence is subject to the 5% rule.

While a $10,000 raise for Lenfant is just shy of a 14% increase on its own, when taken in context with the requested salaries for 2021 in the amount of $1,318,049 in the Exhibit D line item, the bump would barely register. The mayor has stated there are unfilled positions at City Hall and some newer hires are making less than their predecessors did, accounting for a small surplus in the line item.

The City Council voted down Madden’s staff restructuring proposal in April, killing the idea of a director of administration post, which was to have been filled by Lenfant with a $90,000 salary.

The next City Council meeting is Thursday, August 12, 2021, at 6 p.m. at the Paul Spitzfaden Community Center.

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Exhibit B of the City of Mandeville 2020-21 fiscal budget.
Exhibit B of the City of Mandeville 2020-21 fiscal budget.
Exhibit D of the City of Mandeville 2020-21 fiscal budget.
Exhibit D of the City of Mandeville 2020-21 fiscal budget.