A 71-year-old Louisiana man is missing after an alligator attacked him in an area that was flooded by Hurricane Ida. A woman, whose name has not been released to the public, said her husband was attacked by an alligator around noon on Monday (Aug. 30) while he was walking in knee-deep floodwaters at their home in Slidell. He reportedly went to check on his belongings that were located in the storage area under the home.
The woman then heard a loud noise and splashing. When she went outside, she saw her husband being attacked by the huge alligator.
“When she opened up the door, the alligator had him in the death roll,” Captain Vitter said on Tuesday. The woman was able to pull her husband, who was now missing one of his arms, out of the floodwaters and onto some nearby steps.
“When she ... realized the severity of his injuries, she immediately got into her pirogue and went to higher ground, which was approximately a mile away, to get help,” Vitter said. “When she returned, her husband was no longer lying on the steps.”
At the time of her husband’s disappearance, the woman could not call for help because 911 was not working. Deputies have conducted a search for the man, but their efforts have been unsuccessful so far.
Sheriff Randy Smith of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office urged residents to be “extra vigilant” while walking in floodwaters due to animals that may have been moved. “Wildlife has been displaced as well during this storm and alligators and other animals may have moved closer into neighborhoods,” the sheriff said.
At least four people have died in Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall last Sunday (Aug. 29) as a Category 4 storm. More than one million people in the Gulf could remain without power for weeks.