Mandeville’s Lakeshore Drive to be closed until early Tuesday due to flooding _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Randy Steil takes his dogs for a walk Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, on Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville, flooded by surf pushed over the Lake Pontchartrain seawall by strong southerly winds associated with the large rainstorm that moved through south Louisiana on Sunday.

The entire length of Mandeville’s Lakeshore Drive will likely remain closed through early Tuesday as localized flooding continues to recede, officials said Monday.

Strong southerly winds associated with the large rainstorm that moved through south Louisiana on Sunday pushed the waters of Lake Pontchartrain over Mandeville’s 3-foot-high seawall, dumping as much as 2 feet of water in some places, according to Lt. Gerald Sticker of the Mandeville Police Department.

During the storm, crews placed barricades along the road to prevent non-residents from traveling through the flooded areas, Stricker said.

By mid-afternoon Monday, the water had receded a bit but was still more than a foot high in some places, Stricker said.

Mayor Donald Villere said the street will likely remain closed into the early hours Tuesday after the National Weather Service projected that high tide will occur about midnight.

Villere had not received any reports of house flooding — most homes on Lakeshore Drive are elevated — but said some businesses, such as The Lake House restaurant, may be affected.

Rubber valves installed on the nearly three dozen culverts that drain into the lake performed well in preventing rising water from coming into the city from the drains, Villere and Councilman Ernest Burguières said. But the valves couldn’t do anything about the water coming over the seawall, they said.

“The valves were working well, but once it went over the wall, there was nothing to stop it,” Burguières said.

Apart from the water, little damage has been reported, other than small debris, he added.

Flood protection has been a hot political topic in Mandeville for some time, and events like Sunday’s — with heavy rains and winds from the south — can combine to make the problem worse.

A study last year by an engineering firm recommended the city install the valves, along with several other steps to help prevent occurrences such as Hurricane Isaac, during which water poured over the seawall and left parts of the city under several feet of water. City leaders are still considering some of the company’s other suggestions.

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.